The Blue Winged Teal Duck is a dabbling duck that can be found in Central and Northern United States as well as in Canada during the warmer months of the year. Dabbling ducks tend to live and feed in shallow ponds and wetlands that cater to their usual diet of aquatic invertebrates, seeds and plant life. Blue Winged Teal Ducks will migrate vast distances to winter, reaching as far as Central and South America. Their long, cross ocean migration as well as their popularity as a game bird throughout North and South America are probably main causes of their 65% mortality rate, the largest among all dabbling ducks.
The Blue Wing Teal is not an exceptionally colorful duck, especially while exhibiting it’s eclipse plumage – its plumage pattern durning the non-breeding season. But, during the breeding season, the male Blue Winged Teal does show a distinct white crescent on the face between the bill and the eyes. It also has a beautiful patch of pastel blue feathers and some iridescent green feathers on the wing that are brilliantly visible in flight. The rest of the plumage is mostly a cinnamon brown with speckled black marks. The female Blue Winged Teal Duck is mostly grayish brown with the same light blue patch of color on the upper wing, similar to the male during its eclipse plumage.
Like the Green Winged Teal, the Blue Winged is a small duck, between .8-1.2 pounds, and like most other dabbling ducks will nest in depressions on the ground. In the wild, the Blue Winged Teal will nest in grassy areas near wetlands where it feeds, and the duck will line its nest with grass and down. They also change their breeding site each year depending on the varying condition of wetlands.