Monday, May 21, 2018

How would you like your teal?

Blue-winged, Green-winged, or Cinnamon?

I was able to photograph the three common species of teal found in North America on February 18, 2018 at Chula Vista, California.

Here are the drakes. Telling the hens apart is difficult, but possible with practice.

Blue-winged Teal
Drake Blue-winged Teal.
Green-winged Teal
Drake Green-winged Teal.
Cinnamon Teal
Drake Cinnamon Teal.
Interestingly, my first written records of these three teal were all at Ankeny NWR, near Jefferson, Oregon, in September 1975 (Green-winged and Cinnamon) and July 1976 (Blue-winged). It is likely that I had observed at least Green-winged Teal elsewhere before that time (I started birding in November 1972), but I don't have any exact written records for these small ducks before then. I remember that an article on Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge appeared in the local newspaper. I began to visit here regularly thereafter, as it wasn't too far from my home in North Albany, and I would have just gotten my driver's license in October 1974. Dave Potter was refuge manager, and I talked with him several times on my visits.

Did you know? There are about 20 species of teal in the world.

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