Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)

Cinnamon Teal

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Anas cyanoptera | [authority] Vieillot, 1816 | [UK] Cinnamon Teal | [FR] Sarcelle cannelle | [DE] Zimtente | [ES] Pato Colorado (Arg), Cerceta Colorada, Cerceta catana (Cr) | [NL] Kaneeltaling


Monotypic species


Anas is a genus of dabbling ducks. It includes mallards, wigeons, teals, pintails and shovelers in a number of subgenera. Some authorities prefer to elevate the subgenera to genus rank.[1] Indeed, as the moa-nalos are very close to this clade and may have evolved later than some of these lineages, it is rather the absence of a thorough review than lack of necessity that this genus is rather over-lumped. The phylogeny of this genus is one of the most confounded ones of all living birds. Research is hampered by the fact the radiation of the two major groups of Anas ? the teals and mallard groups ? took place in a very short time and fairly recently, roughly in the mid-late Pleistocene. Furthermore, hybridization may have long played a major role in Anas evolution, with within-subgenus hybrids regularly and between-subgenus hybrids not infrequently being fully fertile.[1] The relationships between species are much obscured by this fact, and mtDNA sequence data is of dubious value in resolving their relationships; on the other hand, nuclear DNA sequences evolve too slowly to resolve the phylogeny of the subgenus Anas for example. Some major clades can be discerned. For example, that the traditional subgenus Anas, the mallard group, forms a monophyletic (in the loose sense, i.e. non-holophyletic) group has never been seriously questioned by modern science and is as good as confirmed (but see below). On the other hand, the phylogeny of the teals is very confusing. For these reasons, the dabbling duck lineages more distantly related to mallard group (which includes the type species of Anas) than the wigeons should arguably be separated in their own genera. These would include the Baikal Teal, the Garganey, the spotted black-capped Punanetta group, and the shovelers and other blue-winged species. Whether the wigeons, which are very distinct in morphology and behavior, but much less so in mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequences, should also be considered a distinct genus Mareca (including the Gadwall and Falcated Duck) is essentially the one remaining point of dispute as regards the question which taxa should remain in this genus and which ones should not.

Physical charateristics

Male: A small, dark chestnut duck with a large, chalky blue patch on the fore edge of the wing. In flight, resembles Blue-winged Teal. Female:
Very similar to female Blue-wing but tawnier; bill a wee bit longer, line through eye less distinct.

Listen to the sound of Cinnamon Teal

[audio: Teal.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 35 cm size max.: 48 cm
incubation min.: 21 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 45 days fledging max.: 53 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 9  
      eggs max.: 12  


North America, Latin America : West North America to South South America


Marshes, fresh ponds. Favors fresh or alkaline shallow lakes, extensive marshes. Generally not in coastal salt marshes. In migration, may pause on any kind of small pond or reservoir. South American races may use wider variety of habitats.


Several males may court one female, making ritualized mock feeding and preening movements. Short display flights may develop into pursuit flights, with males chasing female.
Nest: Site usually close to water among good cover of sedges, weeds, salt grass, generally well concealed. Nest is a shallow depression with some dead grass and weeds added, lined with down. Female selects nest site and builds nest.
Clutch 9-12, sometimes 4-16. Whitish to very pale buff. Incubation by female only, 21-25 days.
Female leads young to water after they hatch. Young find their own food; capable of flight 7 weeks after hatching. If danger threatens young, adult female may put on broken-wing act as a distraction display. Unlike most duck species, male may not abandon
mate until near the time the eggs hatch, and sometimes is seen accompanying female and young brood.

Feeding habits

Mainly seeds. Plant material in diet includes seeds of smar
tweeds, sedges, grasses, pondweeds, others. Also eats insects, snails, small crustaceans. In one study, migrants consumed mostly seeds and other plant material in fall, a higher proportion of animal matter (mainly insects) in spring.
Usually forages in shallow water, swimming forward with head partly submerged, straining food from water. One feeding bird may follow another, taking advantage of food stirred up by paddling actions of first bird. Occasionally feeds on land near water.

Video Cinnamon Teal


copyright: clinicalcases


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Cinnamon Teal status Least Concern


Southwestern Canada, western United States, Mexico; South America. Migration: May migrate mostly by day. Generally not so much a long-distance migrant as Blue-winged Teal.

Distribution map

Cinnamon Teal distribution range map

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