Friday, February 18, 2011

Gilbert Water Ranch: Green-winged Teal

Cool green head stripe
Dainty little female
When I saw the dozens upon dozens of Green-winged Teal in Arizona this January, I realized that I hadn't seen any in Utah this winter, nor in Idaho.  This got me to wondering about the migration patterns of Green-winged Teal.  Looking at my own eBird records, I recorded them all the time in Arizona during Fall and Winter.  In Idaho I recorded them regularly in April and May, and again in November, but not any other months.  So I pulled up the eBird maps and this is what I found:

Notice how in winter they are general hanging out in the warmer climates? They are all but absent from Alaska.  No wonder I saw them in Arizona so often during these months.  
Spring time shows a substantial shift northward on the continent, which accounts for why I was seeing them in April and May in Idaho.
Breeding and rearing of young looks like it takes place in higher cooler climates to avoid the heat of summer.  Birders are fewer and further between in northern Canada and Alaska, otherwise we'd probably see more density of reports across their full range.  Green-winged Teal must not enjoy the humidity of summer in the southeastern United States.
And the shift southward begins again, but still covers the entire United States.


  1. Robert,

    Last year I started seeing Green-winged Teals about the first of March here in the valley.

  2. I hardly ever get to see these ducks. I love the male's gorgeous face--great photo!

  3. they're pretty fancy guys, that's for sure. I always like seeing them. Good old e-bird!