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.


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!


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.