Cinnamon Teals

Although I’ve seen Cinnamon Teal in California, Oregon and Washington, I’ve definitely gotten my best pictures of them in Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge over the years, and this visit was no exception. Until I revisited their website I didn’t realize the Cinnamon Teal was as a priority species and that “Northern Utah's wetlands, including the Refuge, host up to 60% of the continental breeding population of Cinnamon teal. The Refuge wetlands and neighboring fine-structured grasslands provide necessary feeding and nesting habitat.”

No wonder, then, that in the first pool where I found the juvenile American Coots I also found this beautiful male Cinnamon Teal.

I’ve never seen a Cinnamon Teal that looked quite like this,

but I assume that it must be changing from its eclipse (basic) plumage to its breeding plumage.

Although we didn’t see any Cinnamon Teal ducklings (that we could identify), we did see a lot of couples,

and these two that appeared to be nesting.