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Green-winged Teal

The Green-winged Teal is the smallest dabbling duck in North America, smaller even than Buffleheads, which I always assumed were our smallest ducks. They only measure about 12 inches long at maturity, and weigh less than a pound. This duck looked even smaller as he rumbled his way through a group of Mallards, who were twice his size.

These ducks breed north of the tree line in Canada. During winter they prefer inland marshes and ponds in the southern portion of the United States, so I’m not sure what this lonely little guy was doing in our harsh winter climate, but he seemed to be thriving. Maybe the Mallards were keeping him warm and protecting him from predators.

Like most dabblers, this Teal eats seeds, aquatic insects, and feeds on whatever grains he can find in the winter.

Without a doubt, the cutest little duck I have ever seen.

Near Port Weller, Ontario

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