• • •Blue-winged Teals are small dabbling ducks common on the edges of ponds and marshes with deep vegetation. They typically forage in pairs or small groups, often in the company of other dabbling ducks. The Texas Gulf Coast enjoys a mix of migrants and permanent residents.
They get their name from a chalky blue patch revealed when they extend their wings. They also have an iridescent green patch on the back of their wings and, during breeding season, the male duck sports a distinctive white crescent behind its eye.
Blue-winged Teal rarely dive. They feed by dabbling their bills in the water, dipping their head and neck under or upending their bottom completely to reach into deeper water. They dine on vegetation, insects and small aquatic wildlife, including clams and crustaceans.
Blue-winged Teal pair up in late winter and typically begin mating in early May. In courtship, males will pump their head up and down, dip it under water repeatedly or flap their wings while standing up in the water. They building nests of grass lined with down that hold as many as a dozen eggs.
Migrating Blue-winged Teal travel as far as Canada in the summer and Venezuela in the winter.