Blue-winged Teal: Small dabbling duck, purple-gray head, distinct white crescent on face. Upperparts are scaled buff, dark brown; underparts are pale brown with numerous dark spots. Wings have green speculum, pale blue shoulder patch visible in flight. Fast direct flight with steady wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Blue-winged Teal: Breeds in northern prairies and parklands of central North America and spends winters from Central America and the Caribbean south to Peru and northeastern Brazil. Preferred nesting habitats include wetland areas within grasslands, such as marshes, ponds, and lakes. Winter habitats are mostly swamps and shallow wetlands.
Blue-winged Teals have the highest annual mortality rate (reaching 65%) of all the dabbling ducks, possibly as a result of hunting and long over-ocean migration.
They are more vocal than most ducks—their high-pitched peeping and nasal quacking is commonly heard in spring and to a lesser extent in fall.
They are occasional vagrants to Europe, where their yellow legs are a distinction from other small ducks like Common Teal and Garganey. DNA analysis of this species has revealed its genetic make up to be almost identical to that of the Cinnamon teal.
A group of teal has many collective nouns, including a "coil", "dopping", "knob", "paddling", and "spring" of teal.