Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera)


French: Sarcelle cannelle German: Zimtente Spanish: Cerceta colorada

Anas cyanoptera


, 1816,

Río de la Plata and Buenos Aires, Argentina


Normally placed in genus Anas. Closely related to S. discors, and in past both at times placed in genus Querquedula. Genetic data indicate that the two are sister-species#R#R; recent genetic analyses suggest that N races of present species diverged first, and that discors separated from S races of S. cyanoptera more recently#R#R. Race borreroi not recorded since 1950s, and possibly extinct. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. septentrionalium (Snyder & Lumsden, 1951) – SW Canada (British Columbia and SW Alberta) S to C Mexico (Valley of Mexico); winters from SW USA through Middle America to N Colombia.
  • S. c. tropica (Snyder & Lumsden, 1951) – Cauca and Magdalena Valleys, in NW Colombia.
  • S. c. borreroi (Snyder & Lumsden, 1951) – E Andes of Colombia.
  • S. c. orinoma (Oberholser, 1906) – Andes of Peru S to N Chile, Bolivia and NW Argentina.
  • S. c. cyanoptera (Vieillot, 1816) – lowlands of S Peru, S Paraguay and SE Brazil S to Tierra del Fuego; Falkland Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    35–48 cm; male 315–488 g, female 265–470 g. In breeding plumage male has head, neck, sides, flanks and belly reddish brown to rich chestnut, with blacker... read more


    Considered quieter than S. discors and generally less vocal than most congenerics; male... read more


    Diversity of shallow freshwater or brackish wetlands, with abundant emergent and fringe vegetation... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds, roots and vegetative parts of aquatic plants, complemented with aquatic and semi-terrestrial invertebrates (insects, molluscs,... read more


    Variable depending on locality; starts late Apr in N (septentrionalium), with peak in mid May to mid June, although nests may... read more


    Partially migratory; northernmost and southernmost breeders migrate to lower latitudes, to winter... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common and locally abundant. Subspecies borreroi was common in 1950s, now vanishing; no records in recent years and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Cinnamon Teal (Spatula cyanoptera). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2019).