CA Blue-winged Teal & Redheads

wmidbrook

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Have any of you seen many Blue teal or Redheads in CA?

This is my third season duck hunting and I've only gotten 1 blue winged teal (a few miles east of Sac NWR) and only seen 1 Redhead down by San Luis Resevoir.  I would like to have pairs of both species stuffed and was wondering if any of you had advice as to which refuges these birds are more concentrated.

A distant relative says they used to get real thick flocks of Redheads south of Chico back in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
 

E A Hunt

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The blues are tough to find. Next season hit Yolo refuge the first few weeks. lots of Cins and a few blues taken ther early. The Bluewings are the first to get here and the first to leave.

I have seen some Redheads on occasion on the rivers (Sac). Hit one a few years ago at grey Lodge but it was early and the color wasn't there to mount it.
 
O

outdoorsman

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Shot a drake Red on Sunday at W. Bear.  Last year we shot a few there.  The bay has quite a few reds but the Blue wingers are down in Mexico.
 

songdog

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We use to get lots of blue wing teal down at Wister.  The only tough part is that they're early migrators and the colors aren't that good then.  Still I've shot some full plumage birds down there.

Kern has a pretty fair number of redheads.  I've got three in the freezer right now waiting for the taxidermist.

Any taxidermists on the board here?  My freezer is getting pretty full.
 

MQ

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A few blue wings are taken at Mendota every year. Usually around now. Saw a nice male there when I was not in position to shoot and my son missed one on Jr. Day couple years ago. I got a couple redheads at Colusa many years ago.....
 

Jay

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My buddy bopped a redhead (duck that is) at Sac in January a couple years back.
 

wildlifedesigner

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Redheads are hard to come by and Blue Wings are unheard of. For Redheads check out some Ca dfg/ BLM properties near rivers. I was very lucky and shot my first and only Redhead at Colusa three years ago.



(Edited by wildlifedesigner at 10:12 pm on Jan. 3, 2002)


(Edited by wildlifedesigner at 10:22 pm on Jan. 3, 2002)


(Edited by wildlifedesigner at 10:25 pm on Jan. 3, 2002)
 

Greenhead

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For a redhead, hook up with a sculler and hit the afterbay. Lots of reds and cans rafting the day away.

A few years ago, a buddy and I shot 4 bluewings at Sac on opening day. They are the only blues I've ever shot.
 

Orygun

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Used to get a few blue wings on the north end of the Salton Sea.  Mendota usually gets a fair number of redheads in the open water ponds just east of the slough as well as in the slough itself. Used to see a bunch of reds and cans down at the mouth of the New River on the Salton Sea
 

pitdog

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I bagged a Red drake in a pond near Silverwood this season and 2 blue wing rockets at the North Salton Sea blind. Haven't seen a Can yet! (usually see em around my ponds near Silverwood but this year only reds)
sp
 

huntducks

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It very common to confuse BW with hen Cin. teal late in the season, and both M & F Cin. early, I have been hunting in Ca. for 45yrs and have only shot a few BW here.

I have shot them down in Mexico early in the season and in Mo. during early teal season.

Salton Sea right now for Red Heads & Cans, it is either luck or you need big spreads and a layout boat, I use to hunt with a old timer at the sea he would put out 400 can decoys, and we would shoot nothing but divers & pins.
 

wmidbrook

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Thanks for all the input.  It definately was a blue teal and I shot it in early November last season.  Entering the lottery this evening @ Salt Slough check station and may go for W. Bear rather than San Luis, if I get lucky.  Otherwise, I'll be exploring the delta for the 3rd time since I just got a little skiff.

Looking back, it's just too bad I didn't get into bird hunting when I lived on Kodiak but I was focused on commercial fishing and big game.  I read that it's a mecca for divers.

One thing I did enjoy was seeing when I lived up there was the Emporer Geese in Dutch Harbor each year before Opilio (snow) crab season in January.  They're a spectacular bird in full plumage that time of the year.  At the time, I heard there were only 5,000 of those birds.


Bill
 

TealMan

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I shot a nice mature blue wing drake on New Years day at my club.  Unfortunately I haven't thought of getting one mounted, so he was picked and cleaned like the others.  Are you looking for the birds only, or do you want to shoot them yourself?
 

kilbuc

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Blue wing teal are primarily Central and Mississippi flyway birds but do get a few wayward birds in CA. and the Pacific flyway and are early fall migrants.  The cinamann and the few blue ings you see in Jan. are spring migrants from Mexico on there way back to there respective breeding grounds.  Very hard to tell female blue wings and cinamann apart. If I remember right it has to do with bill measurements.

Red heads are divers so not abundant in shallow water areas.
 

Chessie

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Couple years ago I shot a drake and hen Redhead at San Jacinto.  They have been getting some again this year as well as Cans.  Bluewings are gone to Mexico.
 

huntducks

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The BW teal is in the Spoonbill family of ducks, and has a wider bill then the Cin.
 

wmidbrook

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TealMan>>I'm hoping to get one myself and when I do, I'll put it in the freezer for a taxidermist.  I'm hoping to make it to Mexico and Ark/Alabama sometime in the next 5-10 years.

Well, if the only difference between cin & blue hens is bill width, I may have shot a cin hen then.  What
s the width difference?  Any other distinguishing characteristics?

outdoorsman>>drew 16 in the lottery for yesterday and went to west bear--pretty incredible day (lots of birds taken at San Luis too yesterday)--2 mallards, 5 teal.  It'll probably be awhile before I get a redhead.  For the first time ever, I had to pass on shooting at teal just so I wouldn't have to leave too soon.  I was letting them land in my spread (will post pictures) to see what that would bring in.  Wish more days were like that!!

That was definately one of my top 3 quality duck days ever and I haven't had that much fun since last season--mixed bag.  Last year I had a 5 greenhead, 1 hen mallard, and 1 drake gaddie day at Salt Slough on one stormy afternoon in Jan.  This was after a morning of getting 0 shots at a club 10 miles or so west of there.  Too bad the shoot only lasted an hour...only had 1 shell left anyway.
 

TealTumbler

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Yeah EA is right the blues are early movers so early season down south sounds right and reds are so I have heard are taken far north and far south and according to a buddy of mine who used to work for F&G some years they come in heavy and some years not as much.
 

kilbuc

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FYI
Bluewing teal and cinnamon are different species of the same genus.  BWteal-- Anas discors,  Cteal are Anas cyanoptera.   Shovelers are from a different Genus-- Spatula clypeata.  At least that is what my Peterson field guide says and what I learned LOL  many years ago in a waterfowl class.
 

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