Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blue-winged Teal (Cinnamon)

I've been informed that these are Cinnamon Teal, not Blue-winged Teal. I had forgotten that Cinnamon Teal and Blue-winged Teal have very similar wing coloration and immediately associated the pale blue and green coloring with the Blue-winged.
I've done some research on determining the difference between the females and eclipse males. It appears that Blue-winged Teal are cooler in overall coloring and have a hint of white feathers at the end of the bill. Since these ducks are very warm and show no white at the bill, I would have to agree that they are Cinnamon Teal. Cinnamon's would also be more likely given their large numbers at RNWR this Spring. Comments welcomed!

A trip around the auto loop at RNWR last Thursday didn't produce anything too special, but I did see about 15 Blue-winged Teal in the canal around marker 2. Though these birds are typically shown to have a Summer range throughout our area, they are somewhat rare.
I saw them at TRNWR last Spring for a bit, but then disappeared and I had only got one glimpse so far this year.
What's interesting about this sighting is that about half of them were juveniles, so they probably breed nearby, though there haven't been any recent reports of sitings of Blue-winged Teal at RNWR.
I only got a couple of shots of any of them flying and both were out of focus, but I decided to include one because it shows off the beautifully colored wing feathers that you only get a hint of when they are at rest, if you can see them at all.


  1. Always exciting to see these on the west side!

  2. I've never gotten a good look at one of these - I'll have to make a trip up there sometime!

  3. Awesome, I've only seen them up at Ridgefield!