The Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) is a small dabbling duck native to the Americas. Adults typically measure around 14-16 inches in length with a wingspan of 24-26 inches. They weigh around 0.75-1.25 pounds, with males slightly larger than females. These ducks have a distinct appearance with a bright cinnamon-red head and body, contrasting with a blue-grey bill, and bright red eyes. The wings are dark brown with a metallic green patch that is visible in flight.
Cinnamon Teals breed in freshwater marshes and ponds across western North America, from southern Alaska to central Mexico. During breeding season, males display their bright plumage to attract females and establish territories. They are highly migratory, with most populations spending the winter in southern and central Mexico, but some individuals may also migrate as far south as Central America.
These ducks feed on a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates, which they obtain by dabbling in shallow water or upending in deeper water. They may also forage on land for seeds and insects. The Cinnamon Teal’s unique bill structure allows them to filter out small aquatic creatures from the water.
The Cinnamon Teal has a high-pitched whistling call, which is often heard during the breeding season. They nest on the ground in dense vegetation near water, and females typically lay 6-12 eggs. The eggs are incubated for about 22-24 days before hatching. The ducklings are precocial, which means they are able to walk and feed themselves shortly after hatching.
While the Cinnamon Teal is not considered threatened, it is still affected by habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting in some areas. Conservation efforts include protecting wetland habitats and restricting hunting in certain areas. The Cinnamon Teal is a beautiful and unique species of duck that adds to the diversity of North American waterfowl.