The Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca carolinensis) is North America’s smallest dabbling duck and taken by hunters second only to the Mallard. Click on photos for full sized images.
Luckily for them, even though they nest on the ground, they usually breed far from human habitation, under heavy vegetative cover.
It appears that most of the Green-winged Teal have already paired up in California. Here is a photo of one of the females I encountered at Delevan National Wildlife Refuge.
I love ducks of all kinds but I think the Green-winged Teal drake is one of the most handsome ducks around.
And there are a lot of pluses to being a Green-winged Teal drake. They form a monogamous relationship with a female each breeding season, but attempt (and sometimes succeed at) extra-pair copulations with other females.
The female selects the nest site with the male following her as she makes up her mind on the location, then she constructs the nest with no help from him whatsoever.
Once the female begins incubation, the drake is outta there! He deserts his mate requiring her to do all the incubation and duckling rearing on her own.
Of course this leaves him free to preen.
I never realized that their eyelids were beige colored.
They are a lot of fun to watch. The head bobbing and other courtship displays on their wintering grounds are very entertaining but so is just watching these little guys preening.
It certainly looks like he’s pretty proud of himself. It’s a pretty good life, as long as you don’t get shot!
Lovely photos Larry. These ducks are very rare vagrants to Panama during the winter (only few reports so far.
They certainly are a handsome little duck Larry.
We sometimes get them over here; a big rarity when that happens lol
I always enjoy visiting your website Larry. Your post are so informative and the videos are a big plus along with the beautiful photos. Your Green-winged Teal drakes take on parenting sounds like a few men I know!
Superb photos, Larry! Duck are so lovely to watch:)
@Jan thank you. They are great ducks to watch, very active. I hope you get to see some down there
@Keith handsome they are!
@Wanda, I think there might be a few men out there following this drake’s parenting philosophy as well 😉 And thank you for your wonderful compliment
@Joo thanks, they are one of my favorites
Your photos of this beautiful duck are superb!
A wonderful little bird to see…
Really love this site!!
I think I took a photo of a green-winged teal at Descanso Gardens, this week, in La Canada-Flintridge. That is a couple miles west of The Pasadena Rose Bowl.
My photo was taken from about 50 yards away, and the green stripe on the head looks like black.
Is is normal for these birds to be here?
Hi Julie, the Green-winged Teal is commonly seen all across the US in the winter. They are actually year round residents in parts of the US but breed mainly in Canada and Alaska. You can see the range map here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/green-winged_teal/lifehistory