Monday, February 15, 2016 Hybrid Teal again

Seward, Alaska

Sunrise 8:36 am, sunset 5:47 pm, for a total day length of 9 hours and 11 minutes. Tomorrow will be 5 minutes and 22 seconds longer.

SUNNY! CALM! So exciting to see blue sky again! Huge, fat snowflakes floated from the gray ceiling yesterday, covering the greening grass, emerging crocuses, and budding willows. This first major snow of the year actually only amounted to about 1-2”, but it sure is pretty! Temperatures remain unseasonably warm, between 29 and 40ยบ. The forecast, if we dare believe it, calls for sunny skies aka partly cloudy through Friday. We shall see!

Meanwhile, I refound the hybrid TEAL. Today, I saw a very thin white vertical bar that I missed before.

Several birders suggested that this may be a GREEN-WINGED TEAL X BLUE-WINGED TEAL, especially with the whitish patch on the face. Nathan noted that mallards can hybridize with most ducks, but the hybrids typically have more mallard-like characteristics. Also, a teal x mallard hybrid would be gigantic compared to a GWTE.

I managed to get some far away photos of the hen, and wonder about her identity as well. Is she a hybrid? A BLUE-WINGED TEAL? A GREEN-WINGED TEAL? Any suggestions are appreciated.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold

Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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