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Cinnamon Teal

Spatula cyanoptera

Length: 15 - 17 inches Wingspan: 24 - 30 inches Seasonality: Migrant/Summer
ID Keys: Rich cinnamon body and head on male unmistakable.  Fairly long blackish spatulate bill.

Cinnamon Teal - Spatula cyanopteraThe Cinnamon Teal is an easily recognized dabbling duck of the western United States, with the male having rich cinnamon hues on it's body and head.  They are closely related to the Blue-winged Teal, and will sometimes hybridize with them.  They have more spatulate bills than their close cousins, however, although not as extreme as the Northern Shoveler's bill. 

Habitat: Prefers shallow marshes and ponds in open country during breeding season.  Can be found in nearly any shallow-water aquatic habitat during migration and in winter, including salt-water habitats.

Diet: Primarily feeds on the seeds of sedges, grasses, smartweeds, and aquatic plants.  Will also feed on other plant material, insects, small crustaceans, and small mollusks.

Behavior: A dabbling duck, feeding by partially submerging its head and straining food items from the water.  They will also sometimes feed on land adjacent to water.

Nesting: April through June

Song: Weak whistling by the male, a typical quack from the female. 

Migration: Summers throughout the western United States.  Winters along the California coast, locally in the extreme Southwest, Mexico, and Central America.

Interactive eBird Map: Click for access to an interactive eBird map of Cinnamon Teal sightings

Similar Species: Males distinctive, but females are extremely similar to female Blue-winged Teal.

Conservation Status: Has undoubtedly declined from historic numbers due to loss of wetland habitat.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Cinnamon Teal 

2) BirdWeb - Cinnamon Teal

3) Audubon Guide - Cinnamon Teal

Photo Information: June 19th, 2008 - Klamath Wildlife Refuge, California - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Cinnamon Teal photos.


Click on the range map for a higher-resolution view
Cinnamon Teal - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Rare spring migrant and summer resident, most common in the western part of the state.

Additional Cinnamon Teal Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
Cinnamon Teal - Spatula cyanopteraCinnamon Teal - Spatula cyanopteraCinnamon Teal - Spatula cyanoptera