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 Blue-winged Teal

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Blue-winged Teal.

Use the links below to view the Blue-winged Teal reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Blue-winged Teal sightings.
Blue-winged Teal Archives Reports
Fall 2003 144
Spring 2003 214
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 248
Summer 2002 14
Spring 2002 270
Winter 01-02 2
Fall 2001 325
Summer 2001 4
Spring 2001 316
Winter 00-01 1
Fall 2000 231
Summer 2000 7
Spring 2000 287
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 1210
Spring/Summer 1999 15

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Blue-winged Teal

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Blue-winged Teal
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Blue-winged Teal
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Anas discors Linnaeus
Blue-winged Teal

Common transient and summer resident.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 417).

From several sources it appears likely that this teal was formerly an abundant transient in Michigan as well as a common breeding bird in most areas (Gibbs, 1879: 494; 1885: 167; Barrows, 1912: 84; Mershon, 1923:70-71; Phillips, 1923: 384-85), but specific early records are scarce. Even though apparently much reduced in numbers by 1912, the species was considered by Barrows to be the most plentiful summer duck of Michigan. Ac- cording to records at hand, the period of reduced numbers of breeding birds continued until the early 1930's, at which time a marked increase was ob- served in some sections, notably in Cheboygan County and in certain areas in the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula. This duck is now a fairly common nesting species, known to breed in many counties, and it probably breeds in nearly all.

SPRING.-Migration is reported chiefly in April in the Lower Peninsula and in May in the Upper Peninsula.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 200) gave April 2 as the average date of arrival in the Toledo-Erie marsh area. Arrival is reported in the Ann Arbor region by the fourth week of March occasionally, in the first week of April commonly; a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected there on March 21, 1933. In Jackson County, E. E. Olsen, A. D. Tinker, and T. D. Hinshaw saw 2 of the species (at Portage Lake) as early as March 17 in 1935; Fargo saw 7 on March 28,1924; and R. W. Alien collected 3 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on April 1,1938. In Calhoun County, arrival was reported on March 30 in 1930; it is frequently reported there in the first week in April and occasionally later (Walkinshaw). Pirnie and H. L. Bradley reported 20 near Saugatuck, Allegan County, on March 28, 1938.

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson reported 2 at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, on April 21, 1928. A few (up to 50), mostly in pairs, were seen there almost daily between May 1 and 13 in 1933 and 1934 (Van Tyne, R. E. Olsen, and T. D. Hinshaw); F. C. Gillett reported 800. there (all in pairs) in mid-May, 1934. Brodkorb reported a pair at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, on May 14, 1936. At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson recorded a few each spring, usually less than 15, arriving mainly during the first week of" May, but in 1933, on April 20. Laurence Dayton reported the species on Isle Royale on May 8, 1937.

SUMMER.-Nests are found in southern counties in the last week of April, and broods by the third or fourth week of May; nests and broods are noted usually 2 to 3 weeks later in the Upper Peninsula.

Lower Peninsula.-A number of nests and broods have been found from Strawberry Island, St. Clair County, in the east, where R. E. Olsen and D. W. Douglass saw a nest with 6 eggs on May 24, 1934, to Wintergreen Lake, Kalamazoo County, in the west, where nesting was reported by Pirnie in 1938 and 1940. There is one record from Newaygo County: a nest with 12 eggs, found June 21, 1939; most of the eggs hatched about a week later (Ford, 1939: 72). On Lone Tree Island, Huron County, a nest with 10 eggs was found May 28, 1941, by Herbert J. Miller; at Sand Point in the same county, Van Tyne recorded a pair on June 11, 1933. On Sulfur Island, Alpena County, a nest was recorded on July 14, 2023 (C. C. and F. E. Ludwig). There were no records from the Douglas Lake area of Cheboygan County between 1913 and 1929, but the species now nests there fairly commonly ; small flocks and individuals have been noted and specimens taken on numerous dates throughout the summer; a brood of 9 large young and one of 7 newly hatched young were seen on August 10 at Cheboygan (Blanchard and Nelson, MS of 1937). A female in breeding condition was taken June 18, 1940, on North Manitou Island, Leelanau County (A. E. Staebler and L. D. Case).

Upper Peninsula.-The species is very common at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County (Christofferson; F. C. Gillett and Walkinshaw), and numerous nests have been found there between June 4 (1935, nest with 10 eggs) and June 16 (1928, nest with 9 eggs that hatched July 8); on June 10, 1934, a nest with 11 eggs that hatched June 14, was found there. Two small downy young (U.M.M.Z.) were taken there by Van Tyne on June 25, 1934, and 2 fledglings by Max M. Peet on July 28, 1934. The species was observed August 3, 1914, near Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (N. A. Wood, 1914: 60), and an individual was seen in northwestern Luce County on June 26, 2023 (Leonard Wing, 1940: 174; and notes). Christofferson gave 2 breeding records for Blaney, Schoolcraft County: 10 young on June 1, 1931; and a nest with eggs, July 5, 1937. At Seney, in the same county, where this teal was the most abundant breeding duck, many egg sets were found from June 7 to 10 while many of the species were still seeking mates (Brodkorb; H. L. Bradley). There is 1 summer record for Mallard Lake, Iron County: single individual seen August 1, 1938, by John L. George and E. L. Patterson. Walter E. Hastings noted the species on Isle Royale, July 23, 1929, but found no evidence of breeding.

FALL.-Migration is mainly in September, but extends in the southern counties through early October and occasionally later. Late summer flocking may confuse fall migration records.

Upper Peninsula.-On Isle Royale a flock of 25 or 30, apparently transients, were noted on August 30, 2023 (N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906: 122); and 20 were seen there September 28, 1929, by Walter Koelz. S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 173), reported migrants in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, from September 4 to 27, and collected a specimen there September 6,1934. At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson reported migrants chiefly in September (a total of 65 in September, 1932) and into October (10 on October 6, 2023). At Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, he reported migrants from mid-September (500 on September 11, 2023) to October 6 (one observed in 1926). At Drummond Island, Chippewa County, Pirnie (1935: 170) reported a number gathering along the Potaganissing River in September, 1930.

Lower Peninsula.-In Benzie County, David E. Davis reported a flock of 13 on September 13, 1934. At Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, Trautman collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) on October 1, 1938. At Bay City, mi- grants were abundant by September 23 (1883) according to Eddy (1884:41) . In the Gull Lake area the Blue-wing is one of the most common ducks in late summer and early fall; 15, 20, or 30 are commonly seen through September and into October; 25 were reported there as late as October 19,1939, and 4 on November 4 in 1940 (Pirnie). At Portage Lake, Jackson County, A. D. Tinker and R. E. Olsen reported migrants on October 3 (50 in 1937) and October 27 (1 in 1935); and at Waterloo, Jackson County, Walter Koelz collected 1 on October 20, 1935. In the Ann Arbor region departure has been recorded as late as October 29 (1910). At St. Clair Flats, St. Clair County, D. H. Janzen collected 1 (U.M.M.Z.) on October 25, 1936. L. W. Campbell (1940: 45) reported large concentrations in the Erie marsh, Monroe County, August 22, 2023 (900), and September 13 and 14, 1932. For the Toledo-Erie marsh area as a whole, he gave (1940: 186, 200) September 30 as the average date for departure of the majority of the Blue- wings, and November 10 (1935) as the latest date for individuals. Trautman and E. L. Wickliff recorded 1140 of the species at Point Mouillee marsh, Monroe County, on September 14,1934.

WINTER.-One report: single individual seen in the Erie marsh, Monroe County, by Duvall on February 15, 2023 (L. W. Campbell: 1940: 45).

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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