Green-Winged Teal – Anas crecca
General: Green-Winged Teal, also known as the Common Teal, are the smallest of all North American puddle ducks with a short neck and small bill. They are a popular game bird. They are considered a challenging game bird, often swooping in to a decoy raft only to rise and fly off before a shot can be made. The Green-winged Teal population is steady and /or growing.
They nest near water, either in grasses or brush. The eggs are creamy white. The chicks hatch in about 21 – 23 days and can leave the nest soon after they hatch. They fledge in about another 34 days.
The meat of Green-Winged Teal is considered good to eat and mild in flavor.
Identification: General: As stated the Green-Winged teal is a small duck. They are about 12″ – 16″ long with a Wingspan of 24″, short-necked and small-billed.
Males: Alternate plumage worn from Fall through early summer, dark bill with a rich rust-colored head. Iridescent green face patch sweeping through eye and tapering to the back of head. Chest is buff with dark spotting. The flanks are gray and back Vertical white line at fore part of flanks. Horizontal black line above flanks, buff outer under-tail coverts bordered by black. The central under-tail coverts are black.
Females & Juveniles: Dark gray bill, pale brown head and neck, dark brown cap and eye line. Dark brown back and upper wing coverts scalloped with buff, breast is white spotted with brown, the belly is white.
Habitat: Green-Winged Teal are found more commonly in marshes, ponds and marshy lakes.
Territory: The Green-Winged Teal’s northern range is from Northern Alaska and Aleutian Islands to Quebec south to New York and prairie states. They winter as far south as Central America and the west Indies.
Diet: Green-winged teal feed on seeds of sedges, smartweeds, pondweeds agricultural crops and grasses. To a lesser extent they eat aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans