Index of Species Information



AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tesky, Julie L. 1993. Anas crecca. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : ANCR COMMON NAMES : green-winged teal common teal greenwing northern greenwinged teal teal mud teal butterball American green-winged teal TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for the green-winged teal is Anas crecca. The three recognized subspecies are [1,4,9]: A. c. ssp. crecca (European green-winged teal) A. c. ssp. nimia Friedmann (Aleutian green-winged teal) A. c. ssp. carolinensis Gmelin (American green-winged teal) This report will deal primarily with the American green-winged teal. ORDER : Anseriformes CLASS : Bird FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : All three green-winged teal subspecies occur in the northern hemisphere during summer and in winter extend to northern South America, central Africa, southern India, Burma, and the Philippines. In North America, ssp. carolinensis occurs across the continent and is joined in the Aleutian Islands by ssp. nimia, which remains there throughout the year. Anas crecca breeds in Iceland, Europe, and Asia. It is also seen occasionally during the winter in North America along the Atlantic Coast [1,9]. The American green-winged teal breeds from the Aleutian Islands, northern Alaska, Mackenzie River delta, northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador south to central California, central Nebraska, central Kansas, southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and the Maritime Provinces [1,4]. The American green-winged teal winters from southern Alaska and southern British Columbia east to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and south to Central America. It also winters in Hawaii [4,10]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES11 Spruce-fir FRES14 Oak-pine FRES15 Oak-hickory FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood FRES18 Maple-beech-birch FRES19 Aspen-birch FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES22 Western white pine FRES23 Fir-spruce FRES24 Hemlock-Sitka spruce FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES30 Desert shrub FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie FRES41 Wet grasslands FRES42 Annual grasslands STATES :


BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K001 Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest K002 Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest K004 Fir - hemlock forest K005 Mixed conifer forest K008 Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest K013 Cedar - hemlock - pine forest K025 Alder - ash forest K029 California mixed evergreen forest K047 Fescue - oatgrass K040 Saltbush - greasewood K048 California steppe K049 Tule marshes K050 Fescue - wheatgrass K051 Wheatgrass - bluegrass K053 Grama - galleta steppe K054 Grama - tobosa prairie K056 Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe K057 Galleta - three-awn shrubsteppe K058 Grama - tobosa shrubsteppe K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K065 Grama - buffalograss K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass K067 Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass K068 Wheatgrass - grama - buffalograss K069 Bluestem - grama prairie K070 Sandsage - bluestem prairie K072 Sea oats prairie K073 Northern cordgrass prairie K074 Bluestem prairie K075 Nebraska Sandhills prairie K076 Blackland prairie K077 Bluestem - sacahuista prairie K078 Southern cordgrass prairie K079 Palmetto prairie K080 Marl - everglades K081 Oak savanna K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100 K088 Fayette prairie K090 Live oak - sea oats K091 Cypress savanna K092 Everglades K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest K094 Conifer bog K095 Great Lakes pine forest K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest K097 Southeastern spruce - fir forest K098 Northern floodplain forest K100 Oak - hickory forest K105 Mangrove K106 Northern hardwoods K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest K109 Transition between K104 and K106 K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K113 Southern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 5 Balsam fir 12 Black spruce 13 Black spruce - tamarack 16 Aspen 17 Pin cherry 18 Paper birch 19 Gray birch - red maple 38 Tamarack 63 Cottonwood 88 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak 89 Live oak 91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak 95 Black willow 106 Mangrove 201 White spruce 202 White spruce - paper birch 203 Balsam poplar 204 Black spruce 205 Mountain hemlock 206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir 217 Aspen 235 Cottonwood - willow 252 Paper birch 253 Black spruce - white spruce 254 Black spruce - paper birch SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY PLANT COMMUNITIES : Green-winged teal are abundant in wetlands of the Canadian parkland and northern boreal forest associations. They occur more often in mixed-prairie associations than in shortgrass associations. They also inhabit arctic tundra and semidesert communities [1,9]. Within the above associations, green-winged teal commonly inhabit wetland communities dominated by bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), cattails (Typha spp.), sedges (Carex spp.), pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.) and other emergent and aquatic vegetation [1,4]. Green-winged teal frequently nest in grasses, sedge meadows, or on dry hillsides having brush or aspen (Populus spp.) cover [9]. Near Brooks, Alberta, green-winged teal nests were found most often in beds of rushes (Juncus spp.), and in western Montana most nests were located under greasewood (Sarcobatus spp.) [1]. REFERENCES : NO-ENTRY


TIMING OF MAJOR LIFE HISTORY EVENTS : Nesting - Nesting chronology varies geographically. In North Dakota, green-winged teal generally begin nesting in late April. In the Northwest Territories, Canada, green-winged teal begin nesting between late May and early July. At Minto Lakes, Alaska, green-winged teal initiate nesting as early as June 1 and as late as July 20 [1]. Clutch/incubation - Green-winged teal lay 5 to 16 eggs. The incubation period is 21 to 23 days [1,14]. Age at sexual maturity - Green-winged teal become sexually mature their first winter [1]. Fledging - Green-winged teals often fledge 34 to 35 days after hatching or usually before 6 weeks of age [1,9]. Young green-winged teal have the fastest growth rate of all ducks [1]. Molting - Male green-winged teal leave females at the start of incubation and congregate on safe waters to molt. Some populations undergo an extensive molt migration while others remain on or near breeding grounds. Females molt on breeding grounds [12]. Migration - Green-winged teal are among the earliest spring migrants. They arrive on nesting areas almost as soon as the snow melts [9]. In early February, green-winged teal begin to depart their winter grounds, and continue through April. In central regions green-winged teal begin to arrive early in March with peak numbers in early April [1]. In northern areas of the United States, green-winged teal migrating to wintering grounds appear in early September through mid-December. They begin migrating into most central regions during September and often remain through December. On their more southerly winter areas, green-winged teal arrive as early as late September, but most do not appear until late November [1]. PREFERRED HABITAT : Breeding/nesting habitat - Green-winged teal inhabit inland lakes, marshes, ponds, pools, and shallow streams with dense emergent and aquatic vegetation [1,4,9,14]. They prefer shallow waters and small ponds and pools during the breeding season [12]. Green-winged teal are often found resting on mudbanks or stumps, or perching on low limbs of dead trees [4]. These ducks nest in depressions on dry ground located at the base of shrubs, under a log, or in dense grass. The nests are usually 2 to 300 feet (6-91 m) from water [4]. Green-winged teal avoid treeless or brushless habitats [9]. Winter habitat - Green-winged teal winter in both freshwater or brackish marshes, ponds, streams, and estuaries [4,9]. COVER REQUIREMENTS : Green-winged teal nests are usually concealed both from the side and from above in heavy grass, weeds, or brushy cover [9]. Cattails, bulrushes, smartweeds (Polygonum spp.), and other emergent vegetation provide hiding cover for ducks on water [3]. FOOD HABITS : Green-winged teal, more than any other species of duck, prefer to seek food on mud flats. Where mud flats are lacking, they prefer shallow marshes or temporarily flooded agricultural lands [1,4]. They usually eat vegetative matter consisting of seeds, stems, and leaves of aquatic and emergent vegetation. Green-winged teal appear to prefer the small seeds of nutgrasses (Cyperus spp.), millets (Panicum spp.), and sedges to larger seeds, but they also consume corn, wheat, barley, and buttonbush (Cephalanthus spp.) seeds [1]. In marshes, sloughs, and ponds, green-winged teal select the seeds of bulrushes, pondweeds, and spikerushes (Eleocharis spp.). To a lesser extent they feed upon the vegetative parts of muskgrass (Chara spp.), pondweeds, widgeongrass (Ruppia maritima), and duckweeds (Lemna spp.) [1]. They will occasionally eat insects, mollusks, and crustaceans [1,4]. Occasionally during spring months, green-winged teal will gorge on maggots of decaying fish which are found around ponds [14]. PREDATORS : Common predators of green-winged teal include humans, skunks (Mephitis and Spilogale spp.), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), raccoons (Pryon lotor), crows (Corvus spp.), and magpies (Pica spp.) [1,6]. MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : A large proportion of green-winged teal breed north of the agricultural lands of Canada. Because so many breed in the wetlands of boreal forest associations, populations of this species have not declined due to habitat loss as much as other waterfowl species more confined to the prairies of Canada [1]. REFERENCES : NO-ENTRY


DIRECT FIRE EFFECTS ON ANIMALS : Fire during the nesting season can destroy green-winged teal nests [6]. However, green-winged teal hens may continue to nest after fire. Fritzell [6] reported that after a spring fire in 1970, a green-winged teal removed one charred egg from a burned nest and laid four additional eggs. Ducklings and molting adults are especially vulnerable to fire. Adult nonmolting green-winged teal can probably easily escape fire. HABITAT RELATED FIRE EFFECTS : Green-winged teal nesting cover can be removed by fire [6,13]. After spring burning and mowing at Souris National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota, there were 13 percent fewer nesting pairs of seven dabbling duck species (green-winged teal included) along mowed and burned areas than where cover was untouched [13]. However, forested uplands adjacent to aquatic habitats can be converted to grasses and sedges by fire, increasing the nesting potential of green-winged teal [17]. Large-scale autumn burning may have a detrimental effect upon marshes by decreasing their ability to catch and retain drifting snow which adds heavily to spring run-off. The ability of marsh vegetation to catch and hold snow can be vital to marsh survival [18]. Fire often removes excessive accumulations of fast-growing hydrophytes, permitting better waterfowl access and growth of more desirable duck foods [17]. FIRE USE : Fire can be used to remove fast-growing, undesirable species such as common reed (Phragmites australis) and increase desirable green-winged teal foods such as pondweed and duckweed [15]. The best way to reduce common reed with prescribed burning is to burn during early summer when carbohydrate reserves in the plant are low and the soil is dry [8]. Controlled burning can be used to create nesting edge for ducks. Removal of dense vegetation and woody encroachment is vital if prairie marshes are to remain in this successional state [18]. According to Ward [18], spring burning in marshlands is primarily done to remove vegetation and create more nesting edge. Summer fires are used to create more permanent changes in the plant community. Fire can also be used to reduce predator activity through the elimination of hiding cover [6]. If prescribed burning is used as a management technique, burning must be completed well before or after the nesting season [18]. Land managers who burn during the nesting season should consider partial burns. Partial burns probably have less impact on total vegetation changes and would result in higher recruitment of waterfowl than complete burns would [19]. REFERENCES : NO-ENTRY


REFERENCES : 1. Bellrose, Frank C. 1980. Ducks, geese and swans of North America. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. 3rd ed. 540 p. [19802] 2. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 3. Cooperrider, Allen Y.; Boyd, Raymond J.; Stuart, Hanson R., eds. 1986. Inventory and monitoring of wildlife habitat. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Service Center. 858 p. [3441] 4. DeGraaf, Richard M.; Scott, Virgil E.; Hamre, R. H.; [and others]. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. Agric. Handb. 688. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 625 p. [15856] 5. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 6. Fritzell, Erik K. 1975. Effects of agricultural burning on nesting waterfowl. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 89: 21-27. [14635] 7. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 8. Higgins, Kenneth F.; Kruse, Arnold D.; Piehl, James L. 1989. Effects of fire in the Northern Great Plains. Ext. Circ. EC-761. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University, Cooperative Extension Service, South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. 47 p. [14749] 9. Johnsgard, Paul A. 1979. A guide to North American waterfowl. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 274 p. [20026] 10. Johnson, Douglas H.; Grier, James W. 1988. Determinants of breeding distribution of ducks. Wildlife Monographs. 100: 1-37. [21350] 11. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 12. Madge, Steve; Burn, Hilary. 1988. Waterfowl: An indentification guide to the ducks, geese and swans of the world. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. 298 p. [20029] 13. Martz, Gerald F. 1967. Effects of nesting cover removal on breeding puddle ducks. Journal of Wildlife Management. 31(2): 236-247. [16284] 14. Musgrove, Jack W.; Musgrove, Mary R. 1943. Waterfowl in Iowa. Des Moines, IA: State Convservation Committee. 113 p. + index. [20028] 15. Schlichtemeier, Gary. 1967. Marsh burning for waterfowl. In: Proceedings, 6th annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1967 March 6-7; Tallahassee, FL. No. 6. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 40-46. [16450] 16. Verner, Jared; Boss, Allan S., tech. coords. 1980. California wildlife and their habitats: western Sierra Nevada. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-37. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 439 p. [10237] 17. Vogl, Richard J. 1967. Controlled burning for wildlife in Wisconsin. In: Proceedings, 6th annual Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference; 1967 March 6-7; Tallahassee, FL. No. 6. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 47-96. [18726] 18. Ward, P. 1968. Fire in relation to waterfowl habitat of the delta marshes. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1968 March 14-15; Tallahassee, FL. No. 8. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 255-267. [18932] 19. Kruse, Arnold D.; Piehl, James L. 1986. The impact of prescribed burning on ground-nesting birds. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 153-156. [3561]

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