September 7, 2013

Outdoors almanac: Blue-winged teal

Anas discors

Anas discors

Hunters afield for the special teal season that runs through Sept. 22 may see slightly fewer birds than last year, but noticeably more than many years ago.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates North America’s blue-winged teal population is down about 16 percent from 2012, but about 60 percent above the long-term average. Green-winged teal numbers are down about 12 percent from last year and up about 51 percent from the long-term average.

This early season is held because most blue-winged teal migrate several weeks ahead of other species of ducks, such as pintails, gadwalls, wigeons and shovelers. Teal are the only duck that may be shot during the special season.

Good hunting is expected across most of central Kansas because of heavy summer rains that filled most wetlands.

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