Size: 14.5-17" (37-43 cm). Teal are small-bodied dabbling ducks. The male Cinnamon Teal are a deep cinnamon to chestnut color on the head, breast, belly and sides. Wings often streaked with darker brown. Female is mottled buff to brown. Both sexes have a large blue patch on the forewing. At rest, this patch can sometimes be seen as a blue stripe along the body.
Similar Species- Female Cinnamon Teal are almost indistinguishable from female Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal. Female Northern Shovelers are larger with a broad bill.
Courtship call of the male is a high-pitched rattling. Female, a soft quack.
Breeds from southwestern Canada, eastern Montana, and parts of Great Plains and midwestern states, south to northern Mexico. Winters from southwestern U.S., south to southern Mexico, and rarely or casually to parts of South America.
Found on shallow lake margins, reed beds, ponds, lagoons, sluggish streams, and marshes. Found primarily in freshwater, but occasionally in marine situations in winter. In Idaho, occupies ponds, lakes, and streams at middle and lower elevations.
Feeds on aquatic plants in shallow water areas, especially on rush and pondweed seeds and leaves, but also on grass seeds. Will also eat small amounts of animal food, especially insects and mollusks.
Dabbles or dips in shallow water to obtain food, Nests in depression on ground, usually in or near marsh. Before breeding season, usually seen in single pairs; in fall, seen in small family groups. An Idaho study suggested that mammalian and avian predators may significantly be affecting nest success in some wildlife management areas.
Gazda, R.J. 1994. Duck productivity and nest predation in southeastern Idaho. M.S. Thesis, Univerisity of Montana, Missoula. 61pp.