Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca
Green-winged Teal specimens on display in the exhibit "Birds of D.C."

One of the smallest ducks in North America at only 14 inches in length, the Green-winged Teal is second only to the Mallard in number of individuals taken by North American duck hunters. Aside from the large green wing patch which gives this species its name, the male Green-winged Teal is characterized by a reddish-brown head, green head patch, gray-brown back, speckled-brown breast and yellow under-tail patches. Females are drab-brown overall with a smaller green wing patch, but may be recognized as teals by their small size. Green-winged Teals are found across the Northern Hemisphere. The North American subspecies (A. crecca carolinensis) breeds from Alaska to eastern Canada and south to the northern tier of the United States. In winter, Green-winged Teals migrate south, and may be found along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts of the U.S., in the interior in the southern half of the country, and points south. The Eurasian subspecies, (A. crecca crecca) breeds across northern Eurasia, wintering south to North Africa, India, and China. In summer, the Green-winged Teal breeds primarily on ponds in open wooded parkland, but may also breed on bodies of water near prairies or in river deltas. This species may be found more generally in shallow wetlands throughout its winter range. Green-winged Teals consume grasses, aquatic plants, insects, larvae, and crustaceans. Green-winged Teals may be seen either on land or in the water, where they may be observed foraging for food. This species may also be observed undertaking straight, swift flights on migration or between breeding or foraging grounds. Green-winged Teals are most active during the day.

DC Information

Common migrant and winter visitor from early September to early May. Found in ponds, bays, and tidal marshes. The head of the male is chestnut with green patches; the female’s is mottled brown.

Specimen Information

This record is for the male in the center.
Date: 5/7/1916
Collected By: Edward J Brown
Locality:  Domingues Rancho, Los Angeles Co, CA
Sex: Male
Catalog ID: 253177
The bird on the right is a female.

Distribution Map

distribution map for this species

Bird Vocalizations

Anas crecca

Sound from xeno-canto. XC25882 Anas crecca (Eurasian Teal)

Sound from xeno-canto. XC64736 Anas crecca (Eurasian Teal)