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AVILES BROTHERS
DUCK AND DOVE HUNTING CLUB
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Blue-winged teal (Anas discors)

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Description

Male blue-winged teal have a slate gray head and neck, a black edged white crescent in front of the eyes and a blackish crown. The breast and sides are tan with dark brown speckles and there is a white spot on the side of the rump. Most of the upper wing coverts are blue-gray, the secondaries form an iridescent green speculum, and the underwing is whitish. Females have a brownish-gray head with a darker crown and eye-stripe. The breast and sides are brown, the upperparts are olive brown, and the upper wing coverts are bluish but less vibrant than the drake.

Average length: M 16", F 14"

Average weight: M 1.0 lbs., F 0.8 lbs.

Migrating and Wintering

Blue-winged teal are generally the first ducks south in the fall and the last north in the spring. They migrate from the prairie pothole region to wintering areas in Florida, the Caribbean Islands, the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, Mexico, and Central and South America. One blue-winged teal was recorded migrating from Oak Lake, Manitoba to Lima, Peru, a distance of over 4,000 miles. In addition, the drakes tend to begin migration well before the hens and immatures. Wintering habitats are diverse, including mangrove swamps, fresh and brackish estuaries, and shallow wetlands.

Breeding

Blue-winged teal breed primarily in the northern prairies and parklands of central North America. The relative abundance of blue-winged teal generally increases from west to east and north to south within the prairie pothole region. Nesting habitat includes wetland areas within grasslands, such as shallow marshes, sloughs, flooded ditches, and temporary ponds. Blue-winged teal are extremely adept at utilizing uncommonly wet conditions south of their usual primary breeding areas. They have been recorded nesting as far south as the marshes of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas following Hurricane Beulah, and southern Illinois after flooding in 1973.

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