blue-winged teal duck

Blue-winged Teal Duck

Anas discors


Description

Blue-winged Teal are small brown ducks. They have large blue patches on the front of their wings. The male has a white crescent in front of each eye and a white patch on the rump. The female lacks these white markings. Both sexes have black bills and yellow-orange feet.

Size

Blue-winged Teal weigh slightly less than 1 pound. They measure 14-16 inches in length and have wingspans of 24 inches.

Adaptations

Diet

In the wild, Blue-winged Teal feed on aquatic plants, seeds, and aquatic invertebrates such as mollusks and crustaceans. At Cosley Zoo, they are fed a commercially prepared duck diet.

Reproduction

Blue-winged Teal nest in wetland areas, including shallow marshes, flooded ditches, and temporary ponds. Females change breeding sites each year in response to changing wetland conditions. The nest is a hollow of grass near the water which is filled with down feathers. The female lays about 10 eggs sometime in early June. She then incubates the eggs for 23-24 days until they hatch. Ducklings can immediately swim and find their own food, but their mother watches over them for 6 or 7 weeks until they start to fly.

Shelter and Space Needs

The Blue-winged Teal lives in shallow wetlands such as marshes, lakes, and flooded fields. These ducks migrate to the Southern United States and South America during the winter months.

Life Expectancy

Uncertain for this breed. In general, ducks live an average of 2 years in the wild and can live over 10 years in captivity.

Importance to Man

Blue-winged Teal are prey for many animals, including foxes, coyotes, and owls. They are also popular with hunters, and money spent on hunting licenses supports the conservation of wild animals and their habitat.

Fun Facts