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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Anas crecca
DESCRIPTION: Greenwing teal (Anas crecca) are the smallest of North American ducks with a short neck and small bill. Male green-winged teal have a cinnamon colored head with an iridescent green to purple patch extending from the eyes to the nape of the neck. The chest is pinkish-brown with black speckles, and the back, sides, and flanks are vermiculated gray, separated from the chest by a white bar. The wing coverts are brownish-gray with a green speculum. The bill is a dark slate, and legs and feet are dark gray. The male has a distinctive high-pitched “preep-preep” call. Female green-winged teal are mottled brown with a dark brown line that extends from the bill through the eye. The bill is dark gray, and the legs and feet are olive-gray to brownish-gray. The female is relatively silent but has a sharp, high pitched “quack” when flushed.
DISTRIBUTION: Greenwing teal breed from
HABITAT: Greenwing teal inhabit marshes, ponds, marshy lakes, and flooded agriculture fields such as rice or soybeans. They prefer small and shallow permanent ponds near boreal forest with an abundance of emergent vegetation, but also nest in prairie pothole country or in areas with dense emergent vegetation. Greenwing teal have an extensive range, having been recorded as far north as
FEEDING HABITS: Greenwing teal feed on seeds of sedges, smartweeds, pondweeds, grasses, aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and tadpoles found while foraging in and adjacent to mudflats or in shallow water.
Molting - Male greenwing teal leave females at the start of incubation and congregate on safe waters to molt. Some populations undergo an extensive molt migration while others remain on or near breeding grounds. Females molt on breeding grounds.
Migration - Greenwing teal are among the earliest spring migrants. They arrive on nesting areas almost as soon as the snow melts. Greenwing teal begin to depart their winter grounds in early February and continue through April. In central regions they begin to arrive early in March with peak numbers in early April.
In northern areas of the
Bellrose, Frank C. 1980. Ducks, Geese and Swans of
Author: Chuck Sharp, Wildlife Biologist, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries