Blue-winged Teal
 Photo

General description.

A handsome "dabbling duck", the "Blue-winged Teal" does not acquire his breeding plumage until early winter. In addition to the above, he sports interesting markings throughout: His under parts are cinnamon-colored and heavily pebbled with black. The blue-wing patch has a white border on the rear separating it from a metallic green speculum. When not in mating plumage, the male closely resembles the female except for a darker bill, darker head and a white crescent in front of the bill.

Female appearance.

Mottled brown, similar to the female "Green-winged Teal", but grayer and larger billed. The Blue-winged female also has the pale blue shoulder patches of the male.

Breeding habits.

The"Blue-winged Teal" breeds from southeastern Alaska and throughout most of Canada. In the United States down to northeastern California and New York State.

Calls or song.

The male utters a soft peeping note; the female quacks.

Population and distribution.

You will find these ducks mostly in marshy prairies in the central section of the country. In the fall, the "Blue-winged Teal" migrates early to winter further south than any other duck, as far as South America.

Nesting habits.

Hens select nest sites in upland habitats, usually well above the nearest water. Blue-wings lay one of nine to twelve dull white eggs per day. You will find the male "standing guard" while the female incubates.
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