Teals and Mergansers - jft-photo

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There are three types of teals found in North America. The Green-winged Teal and Blue-winged Teal are the most common and located over much of the continent. The Cinnamon Teal is found throughout the central USA, also out to the west coast and into Mexico. These small waterfowl are known for their quick flight and aerial maneuvers, where they twist and veer in tight formation. Teals mostly prefer shallow waters and mudflats, where they dabble for their food and sift through the sediment for forms of life. The male teals change from a dull non-breeding plumage to a bright and colorful plumage with many distinct markings. Mergansers are also known as "Fish Ducks" and fish is their main diet. There are three types of these birds in North America. The Common Merganser, as the name indicates, is the most abundant and whose habitat covers the largest portions of the continent. The Red-breasted

Merganser nests in the northern regions, but is more likely to spend its winter on the coast, living in saltwater. The smallest of the group is the Hooded Merganser and can be found across the southern regions of Canada, throughout the US central plains to the eastern shorelines. Mergansers are equipped to catch fish. Their bills are long and slender with serrated edges, formed like teeth, for grasping and holding their prey. They are among the diving ducks that swim below the surface hunting their prey.


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