Photo credit: Dan Lory

Except for a rare sighting now and then, the Green-winged Teal has pretty much moved out of the Chicago area and on to warmer climes for the winter. A few thoughts in passing, since we probably won't be seeing them again until some time in March.

Besides being a very beautiful waterfowl, the Green-winged Teal is the bird I can thank for introducing me to the word "philopatry." Whoever first used that word must have liked mixing Latin and Greek. Philos (Greek for to love, or be fond of) + Patria (Latin for homeland) gives us philopatry, love of the homeland. Applied to birds, it means the tendency to always return to their homeland at migration time.

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Anyway, whatever philopatry means, the Green-winged Teal ain't got it. They're not philopatric. They might go to Texas one winter, but then California the next, if they think the lettuce prices will be lower there, I guess.

So there you go; I thought you needed to know that.

The Green-winged Teal is a dabbling duck. They move their bill along the surface of the water, using their lamellae to filter their food from the water. I'm not going to explain lamellae; look it up. This is one over-educated duck!

You don't need a PhD to know beauty when you see it. Enjoy the photos!

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Dan's Feathursday Feature is a weekly contribution to the COS blog featuring the thoughts, insights and pictures of Chicago birder, Dan Lory on birds of the Chicago region.