Ducks are fascinating birds that are found all over the world. The green-winged teal is an interesting duck species hailing from North America. It is a migratory species of duck that moves towards South America during the winter months. The green-winged teal's scientific name is Anas carolinensis, and it is known for living near shallow water environments, and it may even range to agricultural fields. Its name is derived from the green crescent present on its wings that are mainly visible while it flies. Alongside having a high flying speed, these ducks can also run on the ground and are great swimmers. The species is also known for its elaborate courtship dance ritual performed during the breeding and nesting season that comes right after winter.
Are you interest in knowing more about these birds? Keep reading to learn more green-winged teal facts. Also, check out the articles on shoebills and shrikes for interesting facts regarding animals.
The green-winged teal (Anas carolinensis) is a type of dabbling duck.
What class of animal does a green-winged teal belong to?
The green-winged teal belongs to the class Aves, order Anseriformes, family Anatidae.
How many green-winged teals are there in the world?
According to reports from the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List, the global population of North American birds is about 3,900,000 mature individuals. The organization also states that the population of green-winged teal ducks is increasing.
Where does a green-winged teal live?
The green-winged teal (Anas carolinensis) is mainly found in North America. During migration in the winter months, the duck flies to South America. Some of the teal green-winged ducks even journey to the Caribbean during migration.
What is a green-winged teal's habitat?
The common green-winged teal habitat includes wetlands, marshes, boreal forests and grasses, isolated river deltas, and mixed prairie areas. The duck prefers areas with vegetation and in areas where it can find an ample amount of food. The ducks living in the Aleutian Islands can live in shallow or weedy ponds. While migrating in winters, the ducks stop at shallow marshes and wetlands, coastal marshes, and flooded fields and estuaries. Sometimes the American green-winged teal is also seen in rice fields.
Who do green-winged teals live with?
Green-winged teal ducks often live in groups. The ducks are also known for having courtship groups during the breeding season. During green-winged teal migration, the groups can have up to 50,000 birds. The female green-winged teal also lives with the young ducklings until they are ready to live independently.
How long does a green-winged teal live?
The green-winged teal can live to be 17 years of age. Some birds have even managed to live to be 30 years old.
How do they reproduce?
The green-winged teal has different breeding seasons according to its geographical location. The ones residing in North Dakota may start nesting as early as April, but those in northwest Canada may start only in late May. To prepare for the breeding season, the green-winged teal journeys towards its breeding grounds as soon as the snow starts melting in February. The male green-winged teal ducks are also territorial towards the potential female mate but don't stick to the nest after mating.
Females create nests at a distance of up to 600 ft (200 yards) from a water body, and the duck scrapes the ground with its feet to create the nest. 2-6 in is the usual depth of the nest, while the length of the nest is around 6-7 in. The nesting is usually well-hidden by trees and grasses. In a nest, the usual clutch of a green-winged teal female contains between five and 16 eggs. It takes 20-23 days for the eggs to hatch. Though the green-winged teal ducklings are dependent on the mother, the birds can swim right after being born. The duckling fledges in only 25-30 days after birth. It takes one or two years for the bird to reach sexual maturity.
What is their conservation status?
The current conservation status of this Northern American bird is of Least Concern, as stated in the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN Red List.
Green-winged Teal Fun Facts
What do green-winged teals look like?
The most striking thing about the green-winged teal is, of course, the green eye patch that is seen in the males. Sexual dimorphism is clearly seen in the bird species. The females have a lighter brown color compared to the dark-colored plumage seen in the males. The males also have a chestnut head with the iconic green eye patch that stretches to the back of its head. The birds have a yellow rear end which is clearly seen when it is swimming. In contrast, the underbelly has a light color which is usually white. The green-winged teal wing has a green speculum giving the bird its name. This green mark or speculum is especially visible when the green-winged teal is in flight. This is present in both male and female birds. Molting mainly takes place in the spring.
The juvenile green-winged teal tail is often lighter in color than that of the adults. Moreover, the female birds have a yellow streak on their tails. The tails remain above the water when the birds are swimming. The bills of this North American bird are usually black. This bird looks strikingly similar to the Eurasian green-winged teal (Anas crecca). Both birds were once clubbed under the same binomial name, but it has since been changed. The blue and green-winged teal birds are also similar species, but the blue-winged teal has a much more colorful head than the North American green-winged teal.
How cute are they?
This North American bird is quite cute, along with being quite beautiful. It is also regarded as the smallest dabbling duck present in North America, making the bird even cuter.
How do they communicate?
The main form of communication is through the green-winged teal sounds, and the birds can be quite loud like other ducks. The male green-winged teal call sounds have a whistling quality and a rapid chitter to the call. On the other hand, the green-winged teal hen performs a shrill quack, especially noticed during winter. The female of the species may also produce the sound to deter predators.
How big is a green-winged teal?
The average size of the green-winged teal range is 12.2-15.3 in (31-39 cm). It isn't a very large bird and is, in fact, one of the smallest dabbling ducks in North America. The females may be smaller compared to the males. The size of this northern American bird is quite similar to the blue-winged teal, which also grows to an average size of 15.7in.
How fast can a green-winged teal fly?
The flight speed range of the green-winged teal is between 50-60 mph. The green-winged teal flies in a V-shaped formation.
How much does a green-winged teal weigh?
The average weight range of this bird is 5-17.6 oz (140-500 g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
The male green wing duck is known as a drake, while the female green wing duck is known as a hen or simply as a duck.
What would you call a baby green-winged teal?
A baby green-winged teal is known as a duckling.
What do they eat?
The American green-winged teal's diet mainly consists of plant-based foods. Like other duck species, it also moves its bill on the ground in search of food. Its food source may include everything from seeds to aquatic invertebrates. The bird species usually stays in a shallow water habitat, which allows it to probe into mudflats for food. Apart from seeds, the birds may also feed on agricultural crops like rice, wheat, barley, or buttonbush if it is residing near fields. The diet of the birds may differ according to the season. During migration in winter, seeds and aquatic grasses are a favorable choice. While in summers, the Northern green wing bird may primarily feed on insects and mollusks. The ducklings usually thrive on insect larvae.
Are they aggressive?
The green wing teal dabbling duck isn't predominantly aggressive in nature, but it can surely fight back if it is irritated. However, the males show a tendency to be aggressive during the breeding season and can be quite territorial to the other males.
Would they make a good pet?
Not really. These North American birds are a wild species, so they will prefer to be left alone in their natural habitat. Moreover, it is illegal to keep the bird as a pet.
Did you know...
The easy way to distinguish a green-winged teal from a common teal is by the white bar present on the chest of a green-winged teal.
How do green-winged teals escape predators?
The green-winged teal usually dives into the water if it senses a predator coming near it. The birds usually hide under emergent vegetation after diving into the water.
What is unique about a green-winged teal's courtship?
One of the most interesting things about the North American green-winged teal is the courtship dance performed by the birds in the breeding season. Apart from the elaborate dance and flight performances, the species is also known for the courtship calls made on the breeding grounds.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the ring-necked duck and the Muscovy duck.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.