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Ornithological Studies Presentation
Field Marks of Common Teal and Green-winged Teal

by Adrian Binns 02/03

  COMMON TEAL (Eurasian Green-Winged)
(Anas crecca crecca)
GREEN-WINGED TEAL
(Anis crecca carolinensis)
Side of Breast    Has a vertical  white line on side of breast
Scapulars  Horizontal white scapular line along gray body  
Head Pattern  Cream or buffy trace line on the side of the head that borders below the green band.   Another that runs along the top of the green band from the bill to the nape.  Possibly thinner buff line on the lower border and no upper line.  Though there is a hint of it at the base of the bill.  
Flanks Coarse vermiculations on the flank feathers Very fine vermiculations, especially on upper flank feathers. 
Under-tail Coverts Pale lemon yellow, bordered with black   A rich golden yellow, bordered with black. (Darker) 
Breast Usually a buffy hue.   Has a deeper pink wash. (Darker) 
Flight/Upper Wing Prominent mid-wing bar formed by the greater coverts is white, (with a variable cinnamon wash).   Prominent mid-wing bar is largely a bright or rich cinnamon-buff color. 
Greater Coverts     Tips to greater coverts are buffer.
Eclipse Male  Very similar to adult female Common Teal, but usually darker above with less distinct eye-stripe and less distinct spotting below.  Almost impossible to tell apart from female Green-winged Teal. Crown and eye-stripe tends to be darker than Common Teal. 
Females  Very hard to tell both species apart.  Can show buffy tones as opposed to grayer overall appearance of Green-winged Teal.  Has a plainer cheek.  Upper mid-wing bar as male (90% effective).  Perhaps the white border to the speculum is bolder/thicker in Common versus Green-winged.  At least for Asian birds. Can appear grayer overall, lacking the buff tones of Common Teal.  Head pattern can be quite distinct: crown and eye-stripe may be dark brown, highlighting a pale supercilium. Can show a distinct pale loral spot. Upper mid-wing bar as male (90% effective).    
Juveniles  Bill: extensive area of yellow or pinkish-orange on lower mandible and base of upper mandible.  Usually a little reduced in adult females.  Bill: usually shows far less pale coloration and may even appear dark-billed with any pale restricted to lower mandible. Same for female.
Hybrids  Rare.  Most have shown characteristics of both species with a vertical and horizontal white bar.    

See also:
http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder/ibis/GWTE/GWTE339.html  

http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder/ibis/GWTE/GWTE340.html  

http://www.virtualbirder.com/vbirder/ibis/GWTE/GWTE341.html (EB)

 

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