Blue-Winged Teal – Profile | Traits | Migration | Habitat | Breeding

Blue-winged teal

The Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors is a species of bird within the duck, goose, and swan family Anatidae. One of the smaller members of the dabbling duck group, it happens in North America, the place it breeds from southern Alaska to Nova Scotia, and south to northern Texas.

Blue-winged teal Profile

Teal are small geese, quick in flight, flocks twisting and handing over unison. Seemingly a warm-weather duck, the Blue-winged Teal is basically absent from most of North America within the cold months, and winters more extensively in South America than any of our different dabblers.

Small teams of Blue-wings usually are seen standing on stumps or rocks on the water’s edge.

It winters alongside the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and south into the Caribbean islands and Central America.

Fresh ponds, marshes. In summer on shallow freshwater marshes and ponds in the open nation, additionally brackish marshes close to the coast. In migration and winter on any form of shallow waters, inland or coastal. Flocks in migration are generally seen over the ocean, many miles offshore.

Feeding Behavior exhibits forages in very shallow water, gleaning objects from the surface or swimming ahead with head partly submerged; seldom up-ends, and rarely feeds away from water.

Eggs are 9-13, generally 6-15. Dull white or tinged olive. Ring-necked Pheasants generally lay eggs in Blue-winged Teal nests. Incubation is by feminine solely, 23-24 days.

Young: depart nest inside 24 hours after hatching. Young discover their very own meals, are tended by the feminine for first few weeks, however, broods of younger usually left alone before old sufficient to fly. Young able to flight 38-49 days after hatching.

Leave nest inside 24 hours after hatching. Young discover their very own meals, are tended by the female for first few weeks, however, broods of younger usually left alone before old sufficient to fly. Young able to flight 38-49 days after hatching.
Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors
Diet relies primarily on seeds. Diet is usually plant materials, particularly seeds of assorted grasses, sedges, pondweeds, smartweeds, and others. Snails, bivalves, bugs, crustaceans, and different animal matter could also be necessary within the diet at some seasons.

Pair formation begins in early winter and continues throughout spring migration. Male has different courtship shows, together with one wherein whole forepart of the body is submerged, tail raised, feet waved in the air.

Nest site is on the ground in the prairie, hayfield, coastal meadow, generally a number of hundred yards from the nearest water. Nest is a shallow melancholy with some grass or weeds added, lined with down; often nicely hid by surrounding vegetation.

Blue-winged teal Distribution

The range is all of North America besides western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon Territory, northern Northwest Territories, and the northeastern area of Canada.

Blue-winged teal is rare within the desert southwest, and the west coast. The breeding habitat of the blue-winged teal is marshes and ponds.

The breeding range extends from east-central Alaska and southern Mackenzie District east to southern Quebec and southwestern Newfoundland.

In the contiguous United States, it breeds from northeast California east to central Louisiana, central Tennessee, and the Atlantic Coast.

The western blue-winged teal inhabits that a part of the breeding range west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Atlantic blue-winged teal nests alongside the Atlantic Coast from New Brunswick to Pea Island, North Carolina.

They migrate in flocks to winter into the south of its breeding range. During migration, some birds might fly long distances over an open ocean.

They are occasional vagrants to Europe, the place their yellow legs are a distinction from different small geese just like the common teal and garganey, and lately have been annual vagrants in Britain and Ireland.

The blue-winged teal winters from southern California to western and southern Texas, the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast, the Caribbean, and south to Central and South America. It is commonly seen wintering as far south as Brazil and central Chile.

Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors

Blue-winged teal Habitat

Blue-winged teal inhabits shoreline more usually than open water and likes calm water or sluggish currents to quick water. They inhabit inland marshes, lakes, ponds, pools, and shallow streams with dense emergent vegetation.

In coastal areas, breeding happens in salt-marsh meadows with adjoining ponds or creeks. Blue-winged teal use rocks protruding above the water, muskrat homes, trunks or limbs of fallen bushes, naked stretches of shoreline, or mudflats for resting sites.

Blue-winged teal winter on shallow inland freshwater marshes and brackish and saltwater marshes. They construct their nests on dry ground in grassy sites reminiscent of bluegrass meadows, hayfields, and sedge meadows.

They may also nest in areas with very short, sparse vegetation. Blue-winged teal typically nests inside a number of hundred yards of open water; nonetheless, nests have been discovered so far as 1.61 km (1 mi) away from water. Where the habitat is sweet, they nest communally.

Blue-winged teal usually uses heavy growth of bulrushes and cattails as escape cover. Grasses, sedges, and hayfields present nesting cover for these geese.

Erik Fritzell reported that blue-winged teal nests positioned in light to sparse cover had been more profitable than these in heavy cover. Nesting success was 47% on grazed areas and 14% on ungrazed areas.

The blue-winged teal is primarily discovered within the northern prairies and parklands. It is essentially the most considerable duck within the mixed-grass prairies of the Dakotas and the prairie provinces of Canada.

The blue-winged teal can be present in wetlands of boreal forest associations, shortgrass prairies, tallgrass prairies, and deciduous woodlands.

This duck generally inhabits wetland communities dominated by bulrush (Scirpus spp.), cattail (Typha spp.), pondweed (Potamogeton spp.), sedges (Carex spp.), widgeongrass (Ruppia maritima), and different emergent and aquatic vegetation.

During molting, it usually stays amongst in-depth beds of bulrushes and cattails. The blue-winged teal favors areas dominated by bluegrass (Poa spp.) for nesting. Hayfields and plant communities of buckbrush (Ceonothus cuneatus) and sedges are additionally necessary as nest sites.

Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors

Blue-winged teal Description

The blue-winged teal is 40 cm (16 in) long, with a wingspan of 58 cm (23 in), and a weight of 370 g (13 oz). The adult male has a greyish-blue head with a white facial crescent, a light brown body with a white patch close to the rear, and a black tail.

The adult feminine Blue-winged teal is mottled brown and has a whitish area at the base of the bill.

Both sexes have sky-blue wing coverts, a green speculum, and yellow legs. They have two molts per year and a third molt of their first year. The call of the male is a short whistle; the feminine’s call is a soft quack.

Blue-winged teal Behavior

These birds feed by dabbling in shallow water on the fringe of marshes or open water. They primarily eat vegetation; their diet might embody molluscs and aquatic bugs.

Blue-winged teal is typically the first geese south within the fall and the final ones north within the spring. Adult drakes depart the breeding grounds nicely before adult hens and immatures.

Most blue-winged teal flocks seen after mid-September are composed largely of adult hens and immatures. The northern areas experience a gentle decline in blue-winged teal populations from early September till early November.

Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors

Blue-winged teal in central migration areas have a tendency to stay by September, then diminish quickly throughout October, with small numbers remaining till December. Large numbers of blue-winged teal seem on wintering grounds in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas in September.

Blue-winged teal Food behavior

Blue-winged teal are floor feeders and like to feed on mudflats, in fields, or in shallow water the place there’s floating and shallowly submerged vegetation plus considerable small aquatic animal life.

They largely eat vegetative matter consisting of seeds or stems and leaves of sedge, grass, pondweed, smartweed (Polygonum spp.), duckweed (Lemna spp.), Widgeongrass, and muskgrass (Chara spp.).

The seeds of vegetation that develop on mudflats, reminiscent of nutgrass (Cyperus spp.), smartweed, millet (Panicum spp.), and Rice Cut-grass (Leersia oryzoides), are avidly consumed by this duck. One-fourth of the meals consumed by blue-winged teal is animal matter reminiscent of mollusks, crustaceans, and bugs.

Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors

Blue-winged teal Breeding

The onset of courtship amongst immature blue-winged teal usually begins in late January or early February. In areas south of the breeding grounds, blue-winged teal is more energetic in courtship through the spring migration than are most different geese.

Blue-winged teal is among the many final dabbling geese to nest, typically nesting between April 15 and May 15. Few nests are started after mid-July.

Chronology of nesting can differ from year to year on account of climate situations. At Delta Marshes, Manitoba, blue-winged teal nesting was delayed per week in 1950 as a consequence of an abnormally chilly climate.

The nest is a shallow melancholy on the ground lined with grass and down, often surrounded by vegetation.

Blue-winged teal typically lay 10 to 12 eggs. Delayed nesting and renesting efforts have considerably smaller clutches, averaging 5 to 6 eggs. Clutch size may also differ with the age of the hen.

Yearlings have a tendency to put smaller clutches. Incubation takes 21 to 27 days. Blue-winged teal is sexually mature after their first winter. During incubation, the drake leaves its mate and strikes to appropriate molting cover the place it turns into flightless for a period of three to 4 weeks.
Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors
Blue-winged teal ducklings can stroll to water inside 12 hours after hatching however don’t fledge till 6 to 7 weeks.

Blue-winged teal Migration

Compared to most geese, migrates comparatively late in spring and early in fall. Migrates in flocks in fall, usually in smaller flocks or remoted pairs in spring.

Some southbound teams in the fall are composed completely of younger birds, indicating that the migratory route is instinctive, not realized. Blue-wings wintering in South America evidently migrate long distances over the open ocean; flocks are generally seen many miles offshore.


Populations apparently stable. Most Blue-wings winter south of the U.S., so management requires cooperation with Latin American nations.

Blue-winged teal, scientific name Spatula discors

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