Green Winged Teal

Green Winged Teal Picture

Green Winged Teal

A Green Winged Teal is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Green Winged Teals. We have also put together a list of fun Green Winged Teal t-shirts, Green Winged Teal bird patches, bird houses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers and other fun bird watching items.

About the Green Winged Teal 

These small dabbling ducks are North American species, native in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They thrive in inland wetlands. The perfect time to view green-winged teals is during the spring and fall migration. The name is derived from the green speculums visible on their feathers. Some of their distinctive features include:

Description and Idenification

Green-winged teals are small dabbling ducks with a small bill and a short neck. These ducks are
12.5-16 inches long and their wingspan is 22-24 inches. Both males and females greatly differ in
their appearance. The males have a chestnut head with a characteristic iridescent green patch that
extends from their eyes to the back of their neck. The majority of their body is gray, except a white
vertical line ahead of their wings, and a pinkish-brown chest with black speckles. Their legs and
ankles are dark gray, and their bill is colored dark slate. The females on the other hand lack the
iridescent green patch and are mottled gray all over. Both sexes have green patches on their
wings with white borders.

Green Winged Teal Color Pattern

Primarily gray or iridescence, their underparts are buff-white with dark spotting while their upperparts vermiculated gray sides and back. Adult males are grayish with a white stripe extending from the waterline to the shoulder. Their female counterparts are brown and have a yellow streak along the tail. The bill is dark gray, dark brown eyes and their legs are blackish.

Green Winged Teal Size

Green-winged teals are larger than an Eared Grebe but dwarfed by a Mallard. They are ideally crown-sized. The bill is slightly small, the head is large and has a short neck.

The relative size of both sexes

  • Length range: 12.2-15.3 in (31-39 cm)
  • Weight: 4.9-17.6 oz (140-500 g)
  • Wingspan range: 20.5-23.2 in (52-59 cm)
Green Winged Teal
Green Winged Teal

Green Winged Teal Behavior

They are dabbling ducks that feed by either picking food items while standing in flooded fields or tipping in shallow water. Search for prey in mud and can filter the mud using their bill. During courtship, the males swim around the female displaying a variety of movements. Once a female chooses a mate it chases the rest. They often migrate in small or large groups.

What Green Winged Teal Eat

Green-winged teals forage in very shallow water by filtering mud with their bills, tipping up, and
picking at items on the water’s surface. During breeding season these birds mainly feed on insects,
crustaceans, mollusks, and tadpoles. When winter comes, their diet changes to agricultural grains,
sedges, and plant grasses. The bodies of these birds are never completely submerged in the water
while feeding, they often only dip their head in. A large variety of organisms are available to these
birds along mudflats and shallow water. They prefer to feed in these regions due to the easy
access of food.

They mainly feed on seeds and invertebrates. They feed in flooded fields, near shorelines, shallow waters, eating whatever food is in abundance. Their broad diet includes grasses, aquatic insects and vegetables, seeds of sedges and mollusks.

Where Green Winged Teals Live

During the breeding season, Green-winged teals prefer shallow wetlands which are in the vicinity of
boreal forests. It is important for these forests to have a dense herbaceous cover as it is necessary
for nesting. These ducks generally prefer areas with shallow marshes and small freshwater water
lakers with dense vegetation during winter, instead of open water bodies which are part of larger
wetlands or river systems.

Green-winged teals thrive in isolated water deltas, wetlands, and prairie pothole regions in North America. The nest site is usually in grasslands that provide thickets for cover. They can also breed along streams in wooded areas, man-made wetlands, and lakes. Migrating green-winged teal stopover in coastal marshes and shallow wetlands.

Range and Migration

Green-winged Teals are the smallest dabbling ducks that are extremely widespread in northern
areas of North America. They are also commonly found across Europe, Asia, and Africa. These
ducks are long-distance migrants who travel far south for their wintering grounds. Outside of
the breeding season, these birds are highly social and prefer to travel in large flocks. During Winter,
females tend to travel further South than the males, and during Spring formed pairs travel North
together. Some Green-winged Teals often end up straying away towards Europe.

Green Winged Teal Lifecycle

The female green-winged teal lays 6-11 eggs and incubates them for 20-24 days. After hatching, the young can leave the nest after a few hours. The female takes care of them even though they search for their own food and fledge after 35 days. The maximum lifespan is 27 years in the wild.

Green Winged Teal Nesting

Male Green-winged teals perform one of the most elaborate and interesting mating dances to
attract the full attention of the female ducks of their choice. Nests are built by the female Green-
winged teals in a dry area close to their habitat. The nest is built in a shallow depression on the
ground which consists of shrubs, leaves, twigs, and grasses. They also often build their nests under
logs, 2-300 feet away from water. At the beginning of the incubation period, the males leave the
females and gather in calm waters to molt. These birds lay 5-16 eggs per brood. Females take sole
responsibility for incubating the eggs, which lasts for 21-23 days. Female Green-winged teals
remain protective of their ducklings till they learn to take care of themselves.


Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes

At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.

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Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Green Winged Teals

The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Green Winged Teals are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.

  • Birding Binoculars

    Birding Binoculars

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  • Kids Binocular 8x21

    Kids Binoculars

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Green Winged Teal T-shirts

If you love the Green Winged Teal you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.

Green Winged Teal Iron On Patches

Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron on patches. Our bird watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen an identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.

The Green Winged Teal is a great iron on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.

  • Bird Banner with iron on patches

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Green Winged Teal Stickers

Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Green Winged Teal. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month. 

Bird Feeders For Green Winged Teal

There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.

Best Bird Houses for Green Winged Teal

There are many types of bird houses. Building a bird house is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 bird houses have become our favorites. Getting a bird house for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these bird houses but they have been worth the higher price and look great. 

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