Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The green-winged teal, Anas crecca, occurs throughout most of North America, Europe, and northern Asia. In North America, this duck breeds in the northern United States and Canada, and winters in the southern United States and Mexico. In Utah, this duck is a common migrant, but it breeds only in the northeastern mountains, sometimes at high elevation. The green-wing teal is found in a variety of wetland habitats, often those with woodlands at their margins. It is also found in grasslands and agricultural areas.

The green-winged teal feeds on invertebrates and plant material, including aquatic vegetation and the seeds of grain crops. Breeding pairs bond during winter, and nesting begins in May or June. Nests are constructed on the ground, usually at the edges of wetlands and often in woodlands at the edge of wetlands. Nests are shallow depressions lined with dry plant material and down. Usually ten to twelve eggs are laid, but as few as six or as many as eighteen may be laid. During incubation, the male parent migrates to open water to molt. The female alone incubates the clutch for 23 or 24 days. Young leave the nest with the female just hours after hatching. They become independent after about 23 days, but they are unable to fly until they are about 44 days old.


  • Johnson, K. 1995. Green-winged teal (Anas crecca). Birds of North America 193: 20 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American Birds, Second Ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 347 pp.