They spend the summer breeding throughout most of North America, from southern Alaska across Canada to the Atlantic Ocean. They are also found all over the Midwest and plains, south to the Gulf coast. They spend the winter in small groups on the southern coasts of the U.S. and throughout Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
They are found in shallow ponds and seasonal and permanent wetlands. Their largest numbers are found in areas of open prairie, in both U.S. and Canada.
They are small ducks, about 16 inches long at most and all grayish-brown, with a black bill. The males have a large white crescent on the front of their faces and at the base of their bill and a patch on their sides near the back. When they fly, they have a light blue patch on each of their wings. Females are dull gray-brown.
They “dabble” with just their bill in the water or tip up with their whole head under water and their tail in the air.
They eat water bugs, crayfish, seeds, and plants.
To nest, they make a dent in the ground, on a grassy spot near the water. They line it with grass. The female lays 6 - 14 white eggs.
Species: A. discors
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Amsel, Sheri. "Duck (Blue-winged Teal)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. October 1, 2023
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