Nature Journal
with Photos

Blue-winged Teal Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Small dabbling duck
- Medium-sized bill without spatulate tip
- Pale blue upper secondary coverts
- Green speculum with white leading edge
- Dark bill
- Juvenile similar to adult female

Adult male alternate
- Alternate plumage worn from early winter through
  early summer
- Blue-gray head with darker cap
- White crescent on face in front of eye
- Buff breast and flanks with darker spotting
- White band at rear portion of flanks
- Black undertail coverts

Adult male basic
- Similar to adult female, but forewing brighter

Adult female
- Pale head
- Dark crown and eye line
- Pale eye ring, and loral spot
- Mottled gray-brown body plumage with darker back

Similar species
Adult in alternate plumage is unmistakable. Female, immature and eclipse male similar to Green-winged and Cinnamon Teals. Note the small size and small bill of the Green-winged Teals as well as the green speculum. Cinnamon Teal is very difficult to distinguish in some (female) plumages, but note the smaller bill without a spatulate tip and the more distinct facial pattern (pale loral spot and more distinct eye line) of the Blue-winged Teal.
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