Discover Nature this week as a swift-flying, migratory duck begins returning to Missouri from the north.
The blue-winged teal (Anas discors) breeds across North America, spending its summers as far north as Alaska. These ducks leave their summer homes early to overwinter along the Gulf of Mexico, or as far south as Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.
Adult males – or drakes – are small, each with a dark gray head and a white crescent between the eye and bill. A light blue patch adorns the fore-wing just above a greenish patch called a speculum, below.