Posts Tagged 'Eurasian Teal'

Iona: October 28th 2012

The last time I was able to get out birding was when I wrote about my walk through Queen Elizabeth Park weeks ago. Luckily on Sunday I wasn’t entirely swamped with homework and the weather seemed cooperative, enabling me to get briefly for a walk down Iona’s south jetty with my mom.

The first thing I noticed upon exiting the car was a series of bangs set off by the airport workers in charge of keeping the birds out of the paths of the aircraft. This was followed by the over flight of a number panic stricken Snow Geese and other waterfowl in a hurry to get out of there! At the base of the south side of the jetty a number of ducks were sleeping or resting; apparently undeterred by the airport staff’s fireworks. A quick scan of this group produced a Eurasian Wigeon sleeping amongst its American brethren.

As I set up my scope to scan the area to the north of the jetty I noticed another birder waving and pointing at something. It was a Short-eared Owl flying right past my position! I quite likely might have missed the owl if it hadn’t been for the other birder, so thank you!

The walk down the rest of the jetty held only the regular species one might expect to see at this time of year; including Horned Grebe, Surf Scoter and Red-breasted Merganser. As I was with my mom we opted not to walk the full length to the jetty’s end but turned around about halfway out. Although I was only able to bird for a short while, any amount of time outside after spending so long behind my desk was a welcome reprieve!

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Eurasian Green-winged Teal at Maplewood… Again

I decided to take advantage of the nice weather today and the fact that everyone else would be watching the gold medal hockey game to head out for some birding at Maplewood Conservation Area. My hunch panned out, the place was practically deserted… little did they know that the real gold was to be found here.

I found this Eurasian Green-winged Teal at the same location that I had seen the previous one, Otter Point. It is quite likely that this bird is the same individual that I saw two weeks ago.

The bird was preening itself and splashing the water about quite a bit, much to the irritation of some nearby Mallards who swam off in the opposite direction. In the half hour or so that I spent watching the duck I didn’t notice it associating with a hen as I had seen it do last time. I wonder if something happened to her or if the two separated (I’m not sure to what extent this occurs in the species)? Most Green-winged Teal have formed pairs by March and the remainder will get together during migration or on the breeding grounds so I suppose there is still time for this bird to find a mate, unless it decides to head back to Asia or Europe (1, 2).

It was nice to see such a great bird again, especially seeing as how it marks the end of my two week break from university and the end of the Olympics.

References:

  1. Johnson, Kevin. 1995. Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/bna/species/193doi:10.2173/bna.193
  2. Mckinney, F. 1965a. The displays of the American Green-winged Teal. Wilson Bull. 77:112-121.

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.