Cinnamon Teal

ID Info
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Cinnamon Teal

Spatula cyanoptera
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae
Basic Description

The male Cinnamon Teal shimmers with a rich ruddy plumage, made all the more incandescent by the summer sun slanting across reedy wetlands in interior western North America. Males molt this brilliant plumage soon after breeding, becoming much more similar to female and immature birds, and very similar to other teal species, especially Blue-winged Teal. Look for Cinnamon’s longer and wider bill to help tell them apart. An entirely separate population of Cinnamon Teal lives in South America.

More ID Info
image of range map for Cinnamon TealRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Look for Cinnamon Teal feeding at the fringes of shallow wetlands, among or at the edges of rushes, sedges, and reeds. Morning and late afternoon are usually the best times to search, and a spotting scope is helpful (bird walk leaders usually bring one for a group to share). Nonbreeding Cinnamon Teal can be drab and hard to identify, but males molt back into their reddish body plumage by midwinter. This is a western species, but rarities do turn up in the East, particularly in Florida.

Other Names
  • Cerceta Colorada (Spanish)
  • Sarcelle cannelle (French)
  • Cool Facts