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Green-winged Teal, Jess Findlay
Photo © Jess Findlay

Photo: Jess Findlay
Breeding evidence - Green-winged Teal
Breeding evidence
Probability of observation - Green-winged Teal
Probability of observation
Elevation plot - Green-winged Teal
Elevation plot

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Green-winged Teal
Anas crecca
Landscape associations:

Click on plot to view table of mean abundance
Elevation range:
0 - 1702 m
Conserv. status:
Not at risk
Global importance
of B.C. population:
Number of squares
ConfirmedProbablePossiblePoint counts
115 166 221 55
Long-term BBS trends
RegionYearsTrend (conf. interv.) Reliab.
Brit. Col.1970 - 2012 1.76 (-2.53 - 5.41)Low
Canada1970 - 2012 0.304 (-1.25 - 2.06)Medium

Mean abundance by region

Bird Conservation Regions [plot]
NW Interior ForestBoreal Taiga PlainsGreat BasinNorthern RockiesN. Pacific Rainforest
0.090.02 0.150.09 0.12
Ecoprovinces [plot]
N. Boreal Mountains Taiga Plains Boreal Plains Georgia Depression Sub-Boreal Interior
0.090.03 0.020.06  
S. Interior Mountains Central Interior Southern Interior S. Alaska Mountains Coast & Mountains
0.030.18 0.14  0.14

Mean abundance by habitat [plot]

Boreal Altai Fescue AlpineBoreal White and Black SpruceBunchgrassCoastal Douglas-fir
0.110.02 0.06
Coastal Mountain-heather AlpineCoastal Western HemlockEngelmann Spruce -- Subalpine FirInterior Cedar -- Hemlock
Interior Douglas-firInterior Mountain-heather AlpineMontane SpruceMountain Hemlock
0.15 0.54 
Ponderosa PineSpruce -- Willow -- BirchSub-Boreal Pine -- SpruceSub-Boreal Spruce 

Characteristics and Range The Green-winged Teal is North America's smallest dabbling duck. The male's cinnamon head with an iridescent green crescent running through the eye makes it easily recognizable. There are three recognized subspecies: A. c. carolinensis in North America, A. c. crecca in Eurasia, and A. c. nimia resident on the Aleutian Islands. In North America, it breeds from treeline to the Great Lakes and central Great Plains, and winters from coastal Pacific Northwest to central Mexico and the Caribbean. In the Palearctic, it breeds across northern Eurasia and winters south to northern Africa and southern Asia (Johnson 1995).

Distribution, Abundance, and Habitat The Green-winged Teal breeds throughout the interior of British Columbia and at a few locations on the coast. The Atlas records showed a breeding distribution similar to that in The Birds of British Columbia published in 1990, with most nesting below about 1,250 m.

The highest Probabilities of Observation were in the Boreal Plains and the Taiga Plains ecoprovinces, with the former matching the densest cluster of breeding records, while the latter had far fewer records. Too few data were collected on point counts to draw any conclusions on abundance; randomized point counts generally don't sample the wetland habitats of Green-winged Teal very well.

The Green-winged Teal nests in grassy, brushy or lightly-wooded uplands near fresh water marshes or beaver ponds.

Conservation and Recommendations There are no overall conservation concerns for this species. Populations of the Green-winged Teal have doubled over the last three decades in the western Boreal Forest, which includes northeastern British Columbia Shifts in aquatic food webs due to climate change may be favouring generalist species such as the Green-winged Teal (NABCI-Canada 2012).

Art Martell

Recommended citation: Martell, A. 2015. Green-winged Teal in Davidson, P.J.A., R.J. Cannings, A.R. Couturier, D. Lepage, and C.M. Di Corrado (eds.). The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of British Columbia, 2008-2012. Bird Studies Canada. Delta, B.C. [14 Jul 2024]

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