Bird of the Week – Green-winged Teal

There sure are a lot of ducks… Here’s another dabbler species, pretty common in Alaska.

Green-winged Teal, Creamer's Refuge, Fairbanks

Green-winged Teal, Creamer’s Refuge, Fairbanks

The Green-winged Teal is North America’s smallest dabbling duck. Unlike many of North America’s other dabblers, this one does not breed extensively in the prairie pothole region of the central part of the continent. Instead it’s most abundant during summer breeding season in river deltas and wetlands of the boreal forest in Canada and Alaska. This Teal nests in dense cover, often in shrubs or sedges. While it is heavily hunted, because its breeding areas are far from human activity, its numbers have remained high and are even increasing.

Alaska also hosts the Eurasian subspecies, called the Common Teal.

Green-winged Teal (crecca), St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Green-winged Teal (crecca ssp.), St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands


You can see the slight variations in coloration. But in both the North American and Eurasian subspecies, the green mask and reddish-brown head are distinctive.

Camera geek stuff:

#1 f4, 1/30, ISO100
#2 f7, 1/200, ISO400

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.