Friday, October 19, 2012

Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teal

I took this photograph of a male Cinnamon Teal (in the foreground) and male Blue-winged Teal (in the background) at the Santa Ana Refuge in south Texas this March. Genetic studies suggest that these two ducks "evolved recently and rapidly" (Gammonley 2012). They are so closely related that these two species often hybridize. The actual frequency of this interbreeding is unknown, since only male hybrids are easily recognizable, the females being quite similar. Cinnamon Teal breed in western North America and are also found through South America. Blue-winged Teal breed across northern and central North America.

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