A cinnamon teal on the surface of the water with foliage in background

Cinnamon Teal

Scientific Classification

Common Name
cinnamon teal
Genus Species
Spatula cyanoptera (red colored)

Fast Facts

This is a small dabbling duck with a long bill, pale blue upper secondary coverts and a green speculum with a white leading edge. The male cinnamon teal has red eyes.
Approximately 27.5 cm (11 in.) in length; wingspan 62.5 cm (25 in.)
360 to 520 g (12.6 to 18.2 oz.)
Feeds mainly on aquatic plants, seeds and grasses
Approximately 25 days
Clutch Size
6 to 8 eggs
Fledging Duration
25 to 30 days
Sexual Maturity
Approximately 1 to 2 years
Life Span
Averages 20 to 30 years
This species has an extremely large distribution and may be found in Western Canada, Western U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and the Falkland Islands.
Inhabits shallow waters
Global: The total population is very large with at least 10,000 mature individuals. The population is decreasing but does not appear to be severely fragmented
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

  1. The cinnamon teal feeds by dabbling from the water surface. Dipping its head, it upends its body. At night, it may leave the water to forage for acorns, grains and seeds.
  2. Young ducklings hide in the vegetation surrounding the water. If the adult senses danger, it performs does a "broken wing" display to lure the predator away before flying off.
  3. These ducks are seldom vocal, but the male occasionally produces a low chattering, while the female quacks.

Ecology and Conservation

This species's population has not been significantly affected by hunting since the birds tend to migrate earlier than other species.

The subspecies borreroi, known from the east Andes of Colombia, has not been recorded since the 1950s and is likely to be extinct.


Austin, G. Birds of the World. New York. Golden Press, Inc., 1961.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Johnsgard, P. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.

Scott, P. A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.

BirdLife International. 2016. Spatula cyanoptera. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680233A92851668. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22680233A92851668.en. Downloaded on 20 November 2018.