Skip to main content

Plumage and body size differentiation in Blue-winged teal and Cinnamon teal

Buy Article:

$25.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) and Cinnamon Teal (A. cyanoptera septentrionalium) are two closely related North American dabbling duck species that are ecological equivalents. Cinnamon Teal are primarily restricted to regions west of the Great Plains, whereas Blue-winged Teal occur primarily in the central and eastern part of the continent, only recently expanding westward. Males of the two species exhibit striking plumage color differences, while females are difficult to differentiate by plumage, and it is unclear if interspecific size differences exist between either sex due to inconsistencies in previous reports. Here we reassess body size differences, and quantify plumage color differences using avian color discrimination modeling. Like previous studies, significant differences were found for bill morphology; mean bill length was 7–10% longer in Cinnamon Teal. Based on avian visual modeling of plumage reflectance data, color differences not visible to human vision were found between species for several female feather patches (e.g. breast coloration) and male wing speculum coloration, potentially representing previously unrecognized interspecific signals to the avian visual system. Although color reflectance data yielded higher accuracy than morphometrics for identifying females, body size measurements (in addition to plumage to a lesser degree) also proved to be reliable in correctly classifying males of each species. In combination, morphometrics and plumage reflectance data represent useful identification tools for avian species that are otherwise difficult to distinguish.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Avian Biology Research provides a forum for the publication of research in every field of ornithology. It covers all aspects of pure and applied ornithology for wild or captive species as well as research that does not readily fit within the publication objectives of other ornithological journals. By considering a wide range of research fields for publication, Avian Biology Research provides a forum for people working in every field of ornithology. The journal also includes sections on avian news, conference diary and book reviews.

    Editor-in-Chief: Charles Deeming Editors: Tom Pike; Dale Sandercock; Claudia Wascher; Jenny Dunn
    Production Editor: Claire Pike

    Cover image:Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus) chicks in their nest. Photo by Dr Masoud Moosavi.

  • Editorial Board
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more