This small dabbling duck is a Blue-winged Teal, seen at Green Cay on April 9. This is a male, with the bold white stripe in front of his eye.
I love his speckles!
Here is a female, I believe, stretching a wing and leg on the same side of her body… just like my hens used to do.
Small dabbling ducks have such a pleasing shape. Don’t you just feel relaxed and peaceful when you look at a duck at rest?
The Blue-winged Teal is among the latest ducks to migrate northward in spring, and one of the first to migrate southward in fall.
They love warm weather, lingering in Florida with the last of the snowbirds.
Blue-winged Teal spend the winter/ non-breeding season in the far south of the U.S., and in Central America and northern South America. They breed in summer in the northern U.S. and Canada.
Cool fact: Blue-winged Teal are the second most abundant duck in North America, behind the Mallard.
Blue-winged teal are the second smallest duck in North America and are highly distinctive during flight due to their bright blue wing patch. Populations are highly responsive to wetland conditions in their breeding range; those years with many small temporary wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region typically produce large hatches of this species.
Beautiful and unique, this duck of woodland ponds and river swamps has no close relatives, except for the Mandarin Duck of eastern Asia. Abundant in eastern North America in Audubon’s time, the Wood Duck population declined seriously during the late 19th century because of hunting and loss of nesting sites. Its recovery to healthy numbers was an early triumph of wildlife management.
The map on the site shows they are common in all seasons in this area.
Discovered: the most buoyant substance on earth… eider ducklings!
These tiny little fluff balls tackle the waves and waters of the alongshore North Atlantic with aplomb!
The mothers (and aunties?) do all the duckling care, leading them and taking turns watching them in groups known as creches.
Mother Common Eiders lead their young to water, and often are accompanied by nonbreeding hens that participate in chick protection. Broods often come together to form “crèches” of a few to over 150 ducklings.
Bufflehead are North America’s smallest diving duck; they benefit by using old flicker nests that larger ducks such as goldeneyes and mergansers cannot fit into. In winter they occur mainly near the coast (although they can be found in smaller numbers inland). They use shallow, sheltered coves, harbors, estuaries, or beaches, avoiding open coastlines.
A pair of Bufflehead spotted from a viewing platform in Awcomin Marsh, Rye this morning.
A buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds, the tiny Bufflehead spends winters bobbing in bays, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.