Green-Winged Teal

Smallest duck in North America!

Interesting facts about Green-Winged Teal

The Green-Winged Teal are very small in size and can benefit it from it. They are so small that it looks like their air speed is great but unfortunately the mallard and other birds are faster. The Green-Winged Teal flies erratically and very low in the sky. These ducks fly as one unit usually and twist and turn sharply at once.

Male Green-Winged Teal

  • Chestnut colored head with iridescent green to purple patches from the eye to the neck.
  • Pinkish-brown chest with black specks
  • The back, sides, and flanks are muted gray.
  • The chest has a bar of white separating the muted gray.
  • They have brown and gray wings with stripes of green.
  • They have dark colored bills.
  • Their legs and feet are a dark gray color.
  • Male green-winged teal don't "quack", they have a high-pitched "preep-preep".
  • The male Green-winged Teal is on average 14.7 " and weigh an average of 0.7 lbs.

Female Green-Winged Teal

  • Mottled brown with dark brown lines from their bills to their eyes.
  • Dark gray bills
  • Olive-gray feet and legs to brownish-gray.
  • Relatively silent but can be loud with a sharp, high "quack" when flushed.
  • The female Green-winged Teal average a length of about 14 " and weight an average of 0.6 lbs.


Green-winged Teal breed mostly in the west United States and parts of Canada. They like shallow permanent ponds by Northern Temperate Zone that are dominated by mostly coniferous trees, which usually pose as nesting grounds. These ducks lay usually 8 to 9 eggs of a creamy white, light olive or buff color. Incubation usually takes 20 to 24 days which are incubated by the female.

Migrating and Wintering

Green-Winged Teal wintering range covers a great area of land. They usually migrate far north towards Alaska and Canada and far south into South America. They spend most of their time near the Mississippi and Central flyways. The coastal marshes and rice fields of Louisiana and Texas are ideal for their habitat. They visit Central America and the northern Caribbean most often.


The Green-Winged Teal population has grown significantly since 1962, when it was at it's all-time low of 722,000 birds. Their population in 2009 was at it's highest of 3.4 million birds and is, sadly, now decreasing slowly.

Food Habits

These birds mostly feed on seeds, weeds aquatic insects, tadpoles, and much more. They find these foods by searching and when foraging around mudflats or while they are dabbling in shallow waters.

Migratory Bird Protection Law

Migratory Birds are birds protected by federal law as a result of treaties signed with other countries. Protected migratory birds are listed in Title 50 Code of Federal Regulations, Section. 10.13.

Green-winged Teal Ducks feeding and mating; Video filmed in northern Virginia at Huntley Meadows Park, a wetlands in Fairfax County

Green-winged Teal