The Blue-winged Teal is a small duck that breeds across much of North America. Some of these migratory waterfowl head as far south as South America to spend the winter.
Blue-winged Teal are dabbling ducks, which means that they feed in shallow water by dunking their heads under to search for food, or eating food on the surface of the water, like duckweed. They feed mostly on vegetation but will also take insects or mollusks for a snack.
Blue-winged Teal are named for their lovely blue wing coverts, which are light or sky blue in color. Swimming males can be recongnized by the white facial crescent present between the bill and eyes.
Details & Statistics
The Blue-winged Teal is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.