Watching Teals on Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest
This past week we took a stroll through the Canyon Park office park in Bothell Washington. After all the activity it had during the summer we were curious of what the bird population would be like during Fall. This was a great place to see Grebes up close and active during the summer months. Some other notable birds seen here was Green Herons, and King Fishers. During the summer months you could watch the Green Herons sitting in the bushes catching dragon flies and preening. The King Fishers were still actively fishing in the ponds along the walking trail. While watching a Coot swim across the pond we heard an unfamiliar bird call, once we got closer we saw that it was the call of Green-winged Teals. The male Teals call is a distinctly non-duck like whistle.
The Green-winged Teal is a small dabbling duck commonly found in North America. Being a dabbing duck they feed on vegetation by tipping up in shallow water or by picking at food items while standing in shallow ponds, and wetlands. The males have a cinnamon colored head with a glowing green crescent that starts at the eyes and continues to the back of the head. They have deep green wing patches that are usually exposed during flight. We were able to see these green patches when some of the males were strutting around the pond and stretching out their wings. We watched the little Teals for a while, along with the Mallards and coots all sharing the marshy area, until a Cooper’s Hawk showed up and grabbed our attention.
Overall It was an interesting time spent at the small wetlands and we will continue to visit it to see what winter will bring to this little gem of an area tucked away in an office park. There are many unsuspecting areas that may yield unique nature and wildlife experience for you so go exploring.