Duck ID

Discussion in 'Nature' started by jordan2240, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Can someone identify what duck this is? I thought it was a blue-winged teal, but the face isn't right based on the pics I've seen. Picture taken in Harrisburg PA in mid September.
  2. Looks like a hybrid, but exactly what, I am not sure. I will check with my birder friends and get back to you.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My wife is more a birder than I am. She checked and this seems to be a hybrid involving a cinnamon teal.
  4. Bill, can you tell me exactly where the photo was taken and the date? I may be able to back-track it in
    eBird and see if any birders reported it. Very curious myself as to what it is.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Not the exact date, but Bill did mention Harrisburg in mid September in the opening post.
  6. Another note on plumage, National Geographic Birds of North America states in the description of Blue winged Teal, "Male in eclipse plumage resembles female." That could account for the lack of the white crescent on the face.
  7. Thanks all for the responses. "Hybrid" was also one of my thoughts as well as blue-winged in some stage of development.
    Laura, the Peterson guide is what I was actually using to identify it, and you could be right about the molting stage.
    Kerry, the shot was taken at Wildwood Lake in Harrisburg, PA on 9/19/15.
    I've attached a larger extended version in the event that helps. Sorry about the focus, but this had to be heavily cropped as they weren't that close.
  8. Bill, the larger image helps a lot. Look close at the eye on the middle bird. I now think that one is a Wood Duck. It also has blue feathers with a white edge, like the one in your photo. The breast feathers look right for a Wood Duck. It could be a female. Teals don't have that distinctive white, tear drop around the eye. I couldn't make it out on the smaller version of the photo.
    The Peterson book that I referenced is about molts, rather than the bird field guide. Do you have the molt book? It looks very informative.
  9. I checked the results of birders reporting birds just before and after this date. Ducks mentioned include
    Mallards, Black Duck, Wood Ducks and and 2-3 Blue-winged Teal.

    Very likely not a hybrid once I think about it. Laura may well be right as Blue-winged Teal in eclipse
    plumage. But, I don't think Wood Duck young or adults in eclipse plumage can be ruled out entirely. They are an abundant breeder
    locally and their plumages are very variable. Colors of ducks feathers can vary depending on the lighting.
    Head certainly does not look like a Wood Duck, but, being in the shade and a long distance, detail may not
    show up digitally.
  10. Laura, I don't have that particular book. Agree about the middle one being a wood duck. I didn't notice the eye myself until you pointed it out.
    Kerry, thanks for the additional insight. Never occurred to me that this could be a 'Wood Duck' as well. Given Laura's observation re the female, it's certainly possible.

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