Saturday, March 10, 2007

Blue-winged Teal

A flock of these rather marvellous blue-winged teal have appeared on the local salt pond from somewhere. They're mostly rather skittish except for one small group with about 4 ducks and this drake. I wonder if the others are migrants from regions where they are hunted as they definately don't like people.


I'm not sure where they're from but they've been here en masse for a couple of weeks (although we've had a small number around since christmas). I really hope they stick around to breed as I'd like to think the ducklings are as attractive as the adults.


The elipse head marking is common to a number of teals and other Anas ducks (notably the beautiful baikal teal). Interestingly it is apparently due to a recessive gene which means it often shows up in hybrids between two Anas species without the marking.

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