Green-Winged Teals

This gallery contains 3 photos. Teals are small ducks, and the Green-Winged Teal is the smallest species of [dabbling] duck found in North America. The adults look like ducklings when compared to larger species like the Mallard and Wood Duck. Normally seen in significant numbers during the fall, winter, and early spring, I can usually find these dainty looking dabblers far out on the shorelines, but one of the few places where one can get really close to them in Metro Vancouver is Burnaby Lake’s Piper Spit.

© WHSIM Green-Winged Teal (drake).jpg
this fellow appeared to have lots to say. I hope his fowl language was G- rated! (taken on Feb 22)
f/7.1, 1/1000, 403mm, ISO 500

The green wing is not that apparent on either drake or hen unless the wings are slightly lifted; the drake’s main claim to fame is the lovely iridescent green eye stripe that makes his cinnamon brown head look like a tennis ball (oh, and that little “duck tail” at the back of his head). Despite their diminutive size (they tip the scales at just over 1 lb, and measure just a little over a foot in length), Green-Winged Teals can hold their own against the bigger ducks. They do behave themselves, for the most part.

© WHSIM Green-Winged Teal (hen).jpg the more demur Lady Green-Winged Teal, showing her green speculum (taken on Feb 22)
f/9, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 800

On a related note: I am honored to have had my photo of a male Green-Winged Teal chosen as one of the birds to become the inspiration for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Publishing Group’s premier adult coloring book, “America’s Favorite Birds: 40 Beautiful Birds to Color.”

Green-Winged Teal on Golden Pond

In January 2016, over 250,000 votes were cast over four days from a larger pool of 42 species that included such birds as the Painted Bunting, Belted Kingfisher, Wood Duck, Atlantic Puffin, Western Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, and American Goldfinch (see the full list of choices here at

Retailing for USD $15.95 plus shipping, this beautifully bound 88-page coloring book features perforated coloring sheets, gorgeously illustrated subjects in their respective habitats, and heavy, premium paper stock for coloring with pencils or markers. A short list of facts also accompanies each of the 40 bird species. A portion of the sales of these coloring books go towards supporting educational and wildlife conservation programs. It’s a great Christmas gift idea for bird lovers and coloring enthusiasts. Available through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Publishing Group now! (

Learn more about the Green-Winged Teal by visiting its Cornell Lab of Ornithology profile here.




21 thoughts on “Green-Winged Teals

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