Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Green-winged Teal

Left to right: adult male Blue-winged Teal, female Green-winged Teal, juvenile Pied-billed Grebe

It's been another great winter for ducks in Central America, and my local patch, Laguna Villa Royal in Honduras, has been getting some of that action too. Yesterday, I found a female Green-winged Teal – common in Mexico but rare further south. The bird was not very cooperative and swam away nervously as I tried to get closer. Thus, the photos are just documentation shots, but at least I was able to get a couple of comparison species in the photos.

When I first spotted it at some distance, it was in the company of two Pied-billed Grebes, a regular species at the site. I noticed right away that it was the same size as them, and figured this was a good candidate for Green-winged Teal. The dark plumage and the compact build helped me to complete the identification.

This latest addition brings the number of ducks I've seen there up to nine, including less regular species such as Masked Duck, Ruddy Duck and Northern Pintail. Last year, the Lesser Scaup cleared out mid-March, while the Ring-necked Ducks continued until the third week of April. This year, it's the ring-necks that seem to have left already while the scaup continue. 

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