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Cinnamon Teal

Spatula cyanoptera

The Cinnamon Teal is resident throughout western California, but breeds in most of of western USA. These birds are uncommon breeders east of the Rocky Mountains. Most spend winters in Mexico or in the USA close to the border. Some remain in the western half of California year-round. There is also a breeding population in western South America extending south through the Pantanal to Tierra del Fuego.

Most ducks show a noticeable contrasting plumage between males and females, but few are so dramatically different as the Cinnamon Teals. When autumn comes and breeding season has passed, the males shed their richly colored plumage and take on a subdued coloring, more closely resembling the females and their immature offspring.

I’ve been lucky enough finding these ducks during my expeditions throughout the western USA, including California, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

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