Eurasian Green-winged Teal at Maplewood

I first sighted this bird yesterday (13 Feb) but because it was raining and the bird was so far away I couldn’t get any photographs. Thanks to the two week break I have from university I was able to get out again today (14 Feb) and try to document this bird.

Luckily I was able to relocate him in the same spot he had been at yesterday; Otter point at Maplewood Conservation Area (Latitude: 49°18’8.57″N Longitude: 123° 0’26.23″W). I spent about half an hour watching this male Teal, starting at 14:15.

This particular Eurasian Green-winged Teal appeared to be paired up with a hen; the two were always together. I’m not able to distinguish between A. crecca and A. crecca carolinensis females so I don’t know whether there were in fact two Eurasian Green-winged Teal present. Can anyone confirm or deny this from the pictures below?

Currently the AOU does not consider these two forms to be separate species. Personally, I don’t think that not being able to add another “tick” to my life list has diminished this sighting in any way; this is still a remarkable bird which has travelled a long way to be here and that’s something to marvel at.

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2 Responses to “Eurasian Green-winged Teal at Maplewood”


  1. 1 Rick Wright March 3, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Nice birds! The hen’s face pattern is quite dull, suggestive of a crecca-group bird, but no way to know for sure really without a spread wing, so far as I know.
    The drake is very interesting. He doesn’t have much of a yellow outline on the face, and I’m not sure I see a scapular bar in any of the photos. Do you know whether those feathers are grown late in the winter?
    Best wishes,
    rick wright

  2. 2 Marc March 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Hi Rick,

    I’ve done some research with regards to the scapular and head feathers and the best info I could find was from BNA. It states that the molt into definitive alternate plumage for males is complete by late October for A. crecca carolinensis but that this is “similar” for A. crecca. It made no specific mention of a later molt for the scapular or head feathers of male A. crecca and I couldn’t find anything in the primary literature to suggest that this occurs.

    In the field the bird did appear to have more of a “buffy” outline on the head when compared to A. crecca carolinensis; unfortunately this didn’t show up particularly well in my pictures (which were taken through my binoculars). Also the white scapulars were only prominently visible at one point when the bird had ruffled its feathers but I was too slow in taking a picture; otherwise they appeared to be only barely visible and, as you noted, indistinct in the pictures.

    I did mange to find an article (http://thebirdguide.com/identification/Eurasian_Teal/teal_hybrid.htm) describing identification of Eurasian Green-winged Teal x Green-winged Teal hybrids and I’m now wondering if this drake may be a hybrid. Its facial feathers do not appear to be as “buffy” or yellow as in pure Eurasian Green-winged Teal and the white scapulars are not as prominent. What do you think?

    Thank you for the comment; without it I would have only relied on Sibley for this identification and the plate indicates that hybrids have a faint vertical stripe which this bird did not appear to have. I see on your blog that you’re back in Vancouver; this bird appears to have hung around for the past two weeks so it may be worth the trip to see if it’s still around. I’ll likely end up at Maplewood over the weekend and I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for it.

    It’s great to see a birder of your calibre out here in Vancouver and I look forward to reading about your outings!

    Cheers and Good Birding,
    Marc


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