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The blue-winged teal is a small dabbling duck that is common in North America and northern South America. The species is highly mobile and has an opportunistic life history strategy. Breeding populations respond to variable wetland conditions in the drought-prone prairie regions of the north-central United States and southern Canada. Extensive habitat loss and degradation has occurred on the prairies and on neotropical wintering areas in recent decades. Renewed interest in the ecology and management of blue-winged teal has resulted from these environmental pressures. We review life history characteristics of blue-winged teal that are important to managers. Readers should consult Bennett (1938) and Bellrose (1980) for general references on the biology of blue-winged teal.