Western States Cinnamon Teal Initiative

Science Center Objects

Cinnamon Teal are a relatively understudied and WERC scientists are working with agencies from seven other states collecting data on their ecology which will help inform distribution, movements and habitat use. 

Waterfowl Ecology in California and other parts of the Pacific Flyway > Movement Maps for Suisun Marsh Waterfowl and Waterbird Studies


Figure 1.  Breeding densities of Cinnamon Teal across the Intermountain West based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data.

Western States Cinnamon Teal Initiative

Cinnamon Teal are a relatively understudied dabbling duck breeding in high densities in the western United States, particularly those comprising the Intermountain West Habitat Joint Venture (Figure 1). They have the narrowest distribution and the most southerly breeding range of all teal species native to North America. The North American subspecies of Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera septentrionalium) may be found breeding from western Texas north to Saskatchewan and west to British Colombia and California.  Important breeding areas include the marshes surrounding the Great Salt Lake, the Malheur/Summer Lake region in Oregon, the Carson Sink and Ruby Lake areas in Nevada, the Central Valley of California, the scablands of eastern Washington, and the San Luis Valley of Colorado (Figure 1). The winter range of Cinnamon Teal extends from northwestern California to southern Mexico and Guatemala (Figure 21).  Within the United States, Cinnamon Teal also winter in southern Arizona, southern New Mexico,  and southwestern Texas. The greatest numbers of wintering birds within the Pacific Flyway are in California. They are rarely observed east of the Mississippi River.


Species Conservation Needs


Figure 2. Distribution of Cinnamon Teal in North America (Gammonley, J. H. 1996).

Basic research on the ecology of Cinnamon Teal is needed to better understand the distribution, movements and habitat use of this lesser studied waterfowl species. Initial steps have been taken to investigate survival and band recovery estimates with a specific banding program focusing on Cinnamon Teal2 and demographic information on nesting females in the San Luis Valley, Colorado3 . Most of the range distribution information is apparently derived from band returns and visual surveys (e.g. Breeding Bird Survey [BBS]) that often do not differentiate between Cinnamon Teal and Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), particularly hen. Given the species reliance on some of the more arid regions of the western U.S., resource selection patterns (particularly habitat availability during migration) may strongly affect survival and reproductive success. Wintering ecology, and the effects of wintering habitat conditions on survival and reproductive effort in particular, is lacking and such information could vastly improve management options for this species. 


Main objectives

  1. Develop a basic understanding of local emigration and immigration processes from representative populations in seven western states.
  2. Understand breeding and winter distribution and migration pathways.
  3. Develop an understanding of habitats used during breeding, migration, and wintering life cycles.
  4. By marking adult females and possible juvenile females develop an understanding of female fecundity and breeding site fidelity.


Other Area Maps of Tagged Waterfowl

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


Project collaborator, Chris Nicholai, with first three GSM-GPS marked Cinnamon Teal in Nevada.


1. Gammonley, J. H. 2012. Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera), the Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology

2. Olson D.  2015. Cinnamon Teal Banding Report Update. Unpublished Report. 12pp.

3. Setash C. M.  2015.  Cinnamon Teal Population and Breeding Ecology: Factors influencing vital rates.  MS Research Proposal.  Colorado State University.

U.S. fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Teal Assessment Team: An assessment of the harvest potential of North American teal. Unpublished Report