Cinnamon Teal

Anas cyanoptera
Cinnamon Teal 520x289

Arriving in late April,  Cinnamon Teal tend to be the last of the teal species to arrive at Kootenai NWR for the summer.  They travel from Mexico or Central America to western parts of the United States for breeding and raising their young.  


They prefer wetlands that are small, shallow and alkaline surrounded by low herbacious cover.  


 Cinnamon Teal forage in shallow water, swimming forward with their heads partly submerged and filtering mud through their bills. These birds sometimes follow each other, taking advantage of food stirred up by the first bird. They occasionally feed on land near water. Cinnamon Teal, like most dabblers, form pairs before arriving on the breeding grounds.


 Aquatic plant seeds and invertebrates make up the majority of the Cinnamon Teal's diet. The invertebrates become more important in the spring and summer, when breeding females and growing young need a high-protein diet.


The female cinnamon teal will lay an average of 8-10 eggs in a grassy area or on an island of grasses.  It is a shallow depression with dead grass and weeds, lined with down. The female selects the site, builds the nest, and incubates the eggs for 21 to 25 days without the help of the male. The male stays at the breeding area during most of the incubation, however, and may guard the female. Shortly after the young hatch, they leave the nest for the water and find their own food. The male Cinnamon Teal has occasionally been seen with the female and her young brood, an occurrence unusual in ducks. The female (occasionally with the help of the male) continues to tend the young until they fledge at about 7 weeks of age.


Facts About Cinnamon Teal

Weigh only 14oz (400grams) 

Drakes are brightly colored cinnamon, hens are drab

Nests in grassy areas or islands

Eat aquatic plants, insects, and mollusks