• Type: Puddle Duck
• Incubation: 21-23 days
• Clutch Size: 6-18 eggs
• Young Fledge: 34 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: aquatic invertebrates, seeds, and plant matter
• Ohio Status: Species of Special Interest
Tipping the scales at under a pound, this is the smallest dabbling duck in North America. The secondary coverts of the green-winged teal are a dull brown and the speculum is green. The male has a green “mask” around the eye extending to back of the head. Early fall drakes are usually still in full eclipse plumage.
Habitat and Habits
The tiny size of the green-winged teal gives the impression of great speed, but mallards can fly faster. Their flight is often low, erratic, with the entire flock twisting and turning as one unit. These birds are vigorous and quite hardy. Some birds stay as far north as open water is found. Preferred habitats include shallow marshes, flooded fields, and well-vegetated shorelines. They nest as far north as Alaska, and migrate in all four flyways. The drakes whistle and twitter and the hens have a slight quack.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Nests are down-lined cups concealed by grass. The female incubates and raises the young alone.