Separating Male Blue-winged Teal x Northern Shoveler and Cinnamon Teal x Northern Shoveler Hybrids

Blue-winged Teal x Northern Shoveler (BWTE x NSHO) and Cinnamon Teal x Northern Shoveler (CITE x NSHO) are two hybrid taxa that are frequently confused with each other. Blue-winged x Cinnamon Teal is another somewhat similar hybrid but they're easy enough to separate from these other two hybrids so I will not be discussing them here.

Beware of staining! Some birds can be stained a rusty color from the water or environment that they exist in. This can make a few of the below field marks more challenging to determine.

Note: Remember to use more than one field mark to identify an individual. It is especially important with hybrids to not use one odd-looking feature to rule something out completely.

The breast of BWTE x NSHO is paler overall than that of CITE x NSHO. The main color is a pale off-white to a pale buffy/orangey. The breast of BWTE x NSHO is covered in dark, well-defined speckling and patterning.

The breast of CITE x NSHO is a darker and richer orange/cinnamon coloration overall. The main color is a pale cinnamon to a rich dark orange, contrasting less with the flanks than that of BWTE x NSHO. The breast of CITE x NSHO is often covered with less-defined and more messy dark patterning/speckling, but is frequently nearly completely patternless and monochrome in color. Compare a few individuals below.

The flanks of BWTE x NSHO are often paler and not quite as rich of a cinnamon coloration as CITE x NSHO. BWTE x NSHO flanks are also often covered in well-defined black speckling and patterning. The flanks also often obviously contrast heavily with the pale breast.

The flanks of CITE x NSHO are often darker and richer cinnamon in coloration. The flanks seem to be almost completely patternless in most cases, with the occasional small amount of speckles or stripes visible, but never as extensive or obvious as on BWTE x NSHO. Compare some individuals below.

Hip Patch
The hip patch of BWTE x NSHO is white. It usually lacks any rusty coloration unless it's stained.

The hip patch of CITE x NSHO is anywhere from white to cinnamon, but it frequently has at least some cinnamon wash on it. Compare some individuals below.

Cheek Patch
Oftentimes people will use the fact that a given individual has a white crescent at the base of its bill to suggest that Blue-winged Teal has to be involved. This is not the case. Both BWTE x NSHO and CITE x NSHO have this white crescent. In fact, BWTE x NSHO seem to frequently show a smaller white crescent oveall than CITE x NSHO do. This difference is from personal observation but it seems to hold up well in most individuals. BWTE x NSHO often show a very thin white "crescent" that appears as just a slightly curved white bar in some individuals while CITE x NSHO often show a thicker white crescent that covers more of the face. Compare the two individuals below, but as with all hybrids (and species to a lesser extent) there's plenty of variation.

Scapular Coloration
The scapulars on both hybrids have black patterning, but the main color of those of BWTE x NSHO is a pale buffy coloration similar to the breast.

The main color of CITE x NSHO scapulars is a darker cinnamon, also similar to the breast. Compare Below.

Head Coloration
The head coloration and iridescence of BWTE x NSHO tends to be slightly duller, grayer, and more in-line with BWTE. The head coloration and iridescence of CITE x NSHO tends to be brighter green and more in-line with NSHO. This feature doesn't seem entirely reliable, but it helps to give an impression of one or the other.

הועלה ב-נובמבר 18, 2022 07:10 אחה"צ על ידי liliumtbn liliumtbn


Great guide, I used it just now!

פורסם על-ידי that_bug_guy לפני יותר משנה

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