Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Blue-winged Teal
 
 

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  Order Anseriformes - Waterfowl
   Family Anatidae - Ducks, Geese, and Swans
      Subfamily Anatinae - True Ducks
         Tribe Anatini - Dabbling Ducks
  Waterfowl vary in size - from teal to swans. They all have webbed feet and dense, waterproof plumage. Most nest on the ground and the nest is lined with down plucked by the female from her breast. Except for two small groups not found in North America, all belong to one (or two) families.
Ducks, Geese, and Swans are waterfowl with their bill finely serrated or grooved on the edge. Their tongue is fleshy. Their front toes are webbed. Males have a functional penis. They are strong fliers and many migrate long distances. 
True Ducks are sexually dimorphic. The female incubates and cares for the young - the male usually deserts early. Ducks undergo a simultaneous molt of their flight feathers and are flightless until the flight feathers of the alternate plumage regrow. Thus, males wear their nuptial plumage on the winter grounds where pair formation occurs in most species. 
Dabbling Ducks all belong to the genus Anas. They feed on or near the surface or "upend," tilting their body vertically to feed on aquatic vegetation.     
     
     
  Blue-winged Teal, Anas discors 
 
     Cornell     USGS     Wiki     ToL     EoLL
        WINTER - Uncommon (local)  / Uncommon
            MARSH, IMPOUNDMENTS (fresh or brackish)
MORE PICTURES
 
   The female Blue-winged Teal is gray-brown with some white at the base of the bill and white arcs above and below the eye. There is a darker eye line. Males have a white hip-patch and a white crescent (like a half moon) on the front of the face. These are small ducks that prefer warm weather. Small groups may be seen standing on vegetation or rocks at the water's edge.
Blue-winged Teal
     
Blue-winged Teal. Pair
Magnolia Plantation. Photo by Ed Konrad
   
  RANGE: Blue-winged Teal breed widely across sub-Arctic North America and winter nearer the coast and south to central Peru, Argentina, and southern Brazil, the West Indies, and the Galapagos. They winter from our southern states and southern California south to central Peru, Argentina, and southern Brazil (but most of our birds winter in Central America).
  BREEDING: Monogamous. One brood. They nest on the ground, concealing their nest with vegetation. It is a shallow depression lined with finer material and down. The female builds the nest. She lays 9-13 (6-15) eggs which are incubated by the female for 23-24 days. Development is precocial. Young leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching. Females tend the young for a few weeks but often desert the broods before they can fly (as 35-44 days). The male deserts the family near the end of incubation.
  DIET: Teal feed on seeds, greens, grain, aquatic invertebrates, and insects. Animal material (snails, insects, crustaceans, etc.) may be important at some seasons.
  VOICE: The female's quack is coarse, high, and less nasal than the green-winged.
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook. Kiawah - uncommon fall through the spring, occasional summer..
      Coastal - common (local) winter visitor. Hilton Head - common winter visitor.
         Cape Romain - common/uncommon (breeds)/ common/common. Huntington Beach - uncommon, October - April.
      Caw Caw - common/absent/common/abundant. ACE - uncommon/rare/common/common.
   CBC: ACE 34, 1040, 138, 130, 74, 172, 95, 866; Charleston 116, 49, 26, 4, 11, 23, 16, 0;
            St  Helena/Fripp x, x, x, x, x, x, 21, 9; Hilton Head 242, 231, 191, 178, 70, 15, 268, 240; Sun City/Okatie 7, 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 2, 2;
            McClellanville 190, 1844, 775, 418, nc, 2221, 319, 415; Winyah Bay x, x, 206, 340, 64,38, 28, 71;
                Litchfield/Pawley's 4, 16, 1, 18, 11, 20, 28, 4.
   SCBBA: Confirmed/possible breeding, Charleston Co. (Cape Romain, Awendaw).
   P&G: Abundant migrant, Uncommon winter visitor. Breeding records for Cape Island, Bull's Island, and Magnolia Gardens.
   Avendex: 9 records, summer and fall. Maximum - 20,000 Bulls Island, September 26, 1971.
   Potter: Primarily a transient, common along the coast where small numbers remain through the winter. The species has been reported to breed at Pea Island and occasionally at Cape Romaine.
  ●  Uncommon but regular. Blue-winged Teal are found on the Jenkins Point marsh in winter and should be found on Palmetto Lake. I've seen them feeding in the open marsh area beside Duneloft and Deer Pointe Villas in two winters. Look for them on the lake at Freshfields. This species appears to be our most common dabbler in winter.
       
    Banner - Blue-winged Teal, Huntington Beach State Park. Note individual to the left "dabbling."
       
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