American Green Wing Teal

American Green-winged Teal

Scientific Classification

Common Name
American green-winged teal, green-winged teal, common teal
Genus Species
Anas (duck) crecca (from the Swedish word, 'kricka', meaning green wing teal)

Fast Facts

The green-winged teal is a medium-sized duck.  This bird 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.
Approximately 31 to 40 cm (12.5 to 16 in.) long; wingspan 55 to 60 cm (22 to 24 in.)
168 to 448 g (6 to 16 oz.)
In spring and summer, the diet of the species consists predominantly of mollusks, worms, insects and crustaceans. During the winter, these ducks feed on the seeds of aquatic plants grasses, sedges, and agricultural grain.
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
This species has an extremely large range and can be found across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are absent from South America and Australia.
Green-winged teals show a preference for shallow permanent waters in the breeding season, especially those in the vicinity of woodlands with fairly dense herbaceous cover available nearby for nesting. Small freshwater lakes and shallow marshes with abundant emergent vegetation are preferred to open water as are small bodies of water forming part of a larger wetland, lake, or river system, especially in the valleys of small forested rivers.
The total population is estimated at 6,600,000 to 7,700,000 individuals. The overall population trend is uncertain with some populations decreasing, while others are stable, increasing or have unknown trends.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix III
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

The green-winged 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, the only time they really dive is to escape predators.

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

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

Ecology and Conservation

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

This species is also hunted for sport in Denmark, France, and Italy.

The Green-winged teal is threatened by lowland habitat loss, wetland drainage and by upland habitat loss due to the establishment of new forest areas and other land-use changes.

These ducks may also be threatened by disturbance from human recreational activities.


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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.

BirdLife International. 2016. Anas crecca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22729717A86030704. Downloaded on 30 November 2018.