Blue-Winged Teal

ANIMAL:
Blue-Winged Teal Spatula discors

Type of Animal:
Duck

Habitat:
Wetlands, inland shallow waters, coastal shallow waters, shorelines, water edges, freshwater ponds, calm/sluggish current lakes, fresh/brackish/saltwater marshes, pools, calm/sluggish current streams w/ dense emergent vegetation, saltmarsh meadows w/ adjoining ponds/creeks, mudflats, bluegrass meadows, sedge meadows, hayfields, prairies/surrounding wetlands, prairie potholes, parklands, boreal forest wetlands, deciduous woodland/surrounding wetlands, rice fields, pond-marsh mixes, swamps, estuaries, mangroves, flooded crop fields, wetland areas within grasslands, sloughs, flooded ditches, sometimes seen flying over oceans

Location(s):
Found from SE Alaska & Canada (excluding Labrador, parts of Yukon, parts of NW Territories, Nunavut, & far N Manitoba) through most of continental US (excluding much of Arizona, S Utah, S Nevada, far W Oregon, & much of inland California) through Mexico, C America, Caribbean, Colombia, Ecuador, parts of Peru, W & N Venezuela, Guiana Shield, & NE Brazilian coast, also occurring on parts of Atlantic coast of E Brazil. Also found in Hawaii & Galapagos. Vagrants found in parts of Peru, Bolivia, SE Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, & Argentina as well as British Isles.

Appearance:
Males have grayish blue heads w/ white facial crescents, light brown body w/ white patch near rear, & black tail. Females mottled brown w/ whitish area at bill base. Both sexes have sky-blue wing coverts, green speculum patch, yellow legs, & dark bills. Nonbreeding males look similar to females.

Food/Diet:
Seeds, grass/weed stems, duckweed, pondweed, leaves, grains, water lilies, algae, phytoplankton, insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, mollusks

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in aviculture & zoos. Protected under Migratory Bird Act w/ bag limits for hunters.

Lifestyle:
Flocks of 2-150 birds

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Drake
Female: Hen
Young: Duckling
Group: Flock

Weight:
Male: 1 lb
Female: 0.8 lbs
 
Gestation:
4-5 weeks 

Life Span:
10-17 years

Height:
Male: 1.25 ft
Female: 1.167 ft

Body Length:
Male: 1.25 ft
Female: 1.167 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 2.89 in
Female: 2.87 in

Main predators of adults are snakes, snapping turtles, canids, felids, muskellunge, pike, corvids, bears, raccoons, otters, raptors, badgers, weasels, mink, skunks, crocodilians, & ground squirrels. Large birds & predatory fish eat ducklings.
 
Often seen w/ other waterfowl species.
 
2nd most common N American duck species after Mallards.
 
They’re dabbling ducks, feeding primarily on water’s surface or tipping headfirst into water.
 
One of 1st ducks to migrate northward in spring & 1st to migrate southward in fall.
 
Female’s call soft quack while male call is short whistle.
 
Breed from late spring to early summer.

Fun Fact(s):
Can reach speeds of 45 mph in flight.
 
Ducklings precocial being able to leave nest soon after hatching & capable of flight at 5 weeks old & fledge at 6-7 weeks. They become sexually mature at 6 months old.
 
Ring-Necked Pheasants sometimes lay eggs in teal nests.
Blue-winged teal, stock photo

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