Spatula Discors – Blue-Winged Teal

Spatula Discors - Blue-Winged Teal found in the United States

The blue-winged teal (Spatula discors) is a duck, goose, and swan species belonging to the family Anatidae. It is one of the smaller members of the dabbling duck family and breeds throughout North America, from southern Alaska to Nova Scotia and south to northern Texas. It spends the winter along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as well as in the Caribbean and Central America.

Quick Overview: Spatula Discors – Blue-Winged Teal
Body size: Around 15-17 in (38-43 cm) and a weight of 544 g (19.18 oz)
Main colors: Sky-Blue, Green, Yellow, Gray-Blue, White, Brown
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Blue-winged Teal Description

Blue-winged Warbler Teal’s upper wing coverts are sky blue and brown body. its speculum is green, and its legs are yellow. The adult male has a grayish-blue head with a white crescent on the face and a white mark near the tail’s base. Females are devoid of the white crescent and rear spot.

Spatula Discors - Blue-Winged Teal found in the United States
Spatula Discors – Blue-Winged Teal. Photo by: Susan Young


These birds have a length of 15-17 in (38-43 cm) and a weight of 544 g (19.18 oz). Their wings could range from 23-31 in (58-79 cm).


It feeds on seeds, plants, and aquatic invertebrates. Additionally, it may consume mollusks, crabs, and tadpoles.


The blue-winged teal inhabits marshes, shallow ponds, prairie potholes, and emergent vegetation-covered lakes.


Blue-winged teal is quite sociable, preferring to congregate or form groups with other members of their species. They are exclusively social during breeding season. Each year, blue-winged teal move between their wintering and breeding areas. They are often subordinate to dabbling and diving ducks with larger bodies. They are active at all hours of the day. The blue-winged teal is adept at both land and shallow water navigation.

Spatula Discors Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Genus: Spatula
  • Species: Spatula discors

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).

Distribution of the Blue-winged Teal in the USA

Breeds in central North America’s northern plains and parklands and winters from Central America and the Caribbean south to Peru and northeastern Brazil.

The Blue-winged Teal can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Spatula Discors – Blue-Winged Teal

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