Bird of the Week – Blue-winged Teal

WC and Mrs. WC used to participate in a Birdathon for Arctic Audubon and the late Alaska Bird Observatory. It’s a fundraiser: birders get pledges for the number of species they will see in 24 hours, and then try to find as many species as they can. The more pledges and the more species, the greater the funds raised.

Blue-winged Teal, Sunnyside Pond, Fairbanks

Blue-winged Teal, Sunnyside Pond, Fairbanks

One year, after 23.95 hours of non-stop birding, completely exhausted, we were standing at a very swampy pond in the Goldstream Valley, wondering how we would get another species. And, at the last possible minute, a Blue-winged Teal flew in. WC has had a soft spot for this species ever since.

They aren’t common in Alaska and Interior Alaska is near the limit of their usual range. But the white crescent between the eye and bill, and the brown-spotted flank are distinctive.

Camera geek stuff: f7.1, 1/160, ISO100.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.