American Green Wing Teal

American Green Wing Teal

Scientific Classification

Common Name
American green wing teal, green wing teal, mud teal
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus Species
Anas (duck) crecca (from the Swedish word, 'kricka', meaning green wing teal) carolinensis (the Carolinas)

Fast Facts

Description
The green wing teal is a medium-sized duck.  In color this teal is brown with a metallic green patch from the eye back to the crest and a white belly.  The upper parts, including the tail, are dark brown, and the wing features a bright green speculum that may appear violet at certain angles.
The female is dark brown above with lighter breast and flanks.
Size
Approximately 31 to 40 cm (12.5 to 16 in.) long; wingspan 55 to 60 cm (22 to 24 in.)
Weight
168 to 448 g (6 to 16 oz.)
Diet
Includes insects, seeds, and aquatic plants
Incubation
Approximately 23 to 24 days
Clutch Size
6 to 12 eggs
Fledging Duration
25 to 30 days
Sexual Maturity
1 to 2 years
Life Span
Averages 20 to 30 years
Range
Canada and northern United States; winters from the U.S. to Central America
Habitat
Inhabits small and shallow permanent ponds in the vicinity of woodlands with dense nesting foliage nearby
Population
Global: Unknown
Status 
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Appendix III
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

The green wing teal is the smallest dabbling duck native to America.

It is among the fastest fliers of the game birds, capable of flying 97 kph (60 mph) but usually flies 80 kph (50 mph).

These ducks travel in a tight "V" formation at high speeds.

Teals are good swimmers and divers. However, they rarely dive for food, rather they dive to hide from a predator.

These ducks are very active on foot, walking and running for long distances.

Teals have one of the most elaborate mating dances of all Anas species.


Ecology and Conservation

Green wing teals are the second most commonly hunted duck in North America (first are mallards), which places pressure on their populations.

Their wintering habitat has declined due to human population increase. However, teal populations still remain strong and are in fact increasing. Researchers believe this is due to the inaccessibility of their breeding habitat to humans, which is deep in the wilderness. The wetlands that they inhabit in the winter are being managed, more for waterfowl in general, than for the green wing teal.


Bibliography

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. 

Reader's Digest. Book of North American Birds. 1990. Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Pleasantville, New York.

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.