Date: 9/12/17 6:31 pm
From: Philip Dickinson <pdickins...>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] caution Blue-winged Teal vs Cinnamon Teal ID
Thanks, Gary. I made that mistake last year at Wylie. Today, the birds our
Pilchuck Audubon group saw there were Cinnamons.

Phil Dickinson

On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 5:58 PM, Gary Bletsch <garybletsch...> wrote:

> Dear Tweeters,
>
> Numerous recent eBird checklists have included sightings of Blue-winged
> Teal from the Fir Island Game Range (Wylie Slough). I think most of those
> were actually Cinnamon Teal in eclipse plumage.
>
> Some of those checklists include notes about ID being made on the basis of
> wing pattern--"I noted the blue wing panel" or suchlike.
>
> The Blue-winged Teal and the Cinnamon Teal have almost identical wings.
> They have a powder-blue patch on the upperwing, along with an emerald green
> speculum and a white stripe in between. Northern Shovellers have almost the
> exact same wing pattern, too. That's one indication of just how closely
> related these three species are; along with a handful of other species that
> are found in other lands, they were recently moved into their own genus,
> *Spatula*, separate from *Anas *(the traditional genus of dabbling
> ducks).
>
> I hardly ever see Blue-winged Teal in Skagit County after June. My
> personal records, dating back to the late 1980's and early 1990's, include
> a total of eleven BWTE sightings from the period of July through December.
> The last time I saw one here in the latter part of the year was 2011. Six
> of my eleven late-season BWTE sightings were from 2008, when an unusual
> number of BWTE showed up around these parts. By contrast, I have found the
> Cinnamon Teal 147 times during that same period--they are easily ten times
> more common.
>
> This time of year, birders could learn about this ID problem by studying
> the size and shape of the ducks' bills, the eye color, and the facial
> pattern. Almost all of the small teal on Fir Island right now are Cinnamon
> Teal and Green-winged Teal, and there are quite a few Shovellers out there
> as well. With ducks in their eclipse plumage, one must exercise caution in
> the ID.
>
> Yours truly,
>
> Gary Bletsch
>
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