Blue-winged Teal

May 07, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Watching the Blue-winged Teal swim past, one has to wonder how they got their name because you do not see any blue on their wings. The females show a few powdery blue feathers, but the males typically do not. In todays photo I was fortunate enough to have a male Blue-winged Teal sit up and flap his wings to reveal the powder blue forewing feathers that are hidden when they have their wings folded up. I was surprised to see the green feathers too and that makes me wonder what the Green-winged Teal feathers look like.

The Blue-winged Teal is a long distance flyer and winters as far South as South America. Because of their long migration, they are the last to arrive on the breeding grounds in the Spring and the first to leave in the fall. For us, seeing the Blue-winged Teal in the spring indicates the waterfowl migration is nearing the end with most species already having made their way farther North. It's still a good time to get out there to see what birds are still hanging around your pond or other quiet waters that are nearby. Move slowly and use whatever cover is available to hide behind as waterfowl are extremely sensitive to movement and things that look out of place. I was lucky enough to have the bright sun behind me as I crawled on hands and knees across an open grassy area to a spot where I waited for the birds to approach. Most of the time, I am not so lucky to capture a nice image but just watching these birds is a lot of fun.                                                                             _MG_1309_MG_1309


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