Although I’ve never been entirely convinced that the radical changes at Theler Wetlands will have the benefits promised, I have been closely following the effects those changes have on the bird population. An unexpected change (for me at least) has been the major increase in the number of Green-Winged Teal, a bird I used to rarely see there, and invariably tucked into a flock of Northern Pintails, Widgeons, etc. No longer, flocks of them are regulars at Theler now.
Green-Winged Teal are the smallest of the ducks, about twice as large as a Dunlin.
There’s no mistaking the male for any other duck, but the female is much harder to tell apart from other female ducks (unless it’s with a male, of course.)
I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen three Green-Winged Teal males together before, but it’s not at all uncommon at Theler to see males flocking together.
This picture is cropped a little, but I’m pretty sure it’s the closest I have ever gotten to a male Green-Winged Teal.
Overall, I’m afraid that I’m seeing less birds locally over the last few years, but it’s nice to know that at least this species seems to be thriving in Theler’s new habitat.