Blue-winged Teal are small dabblers with long bodies and bills. Males in breeding plumage have russet-colored bodies with small, dark spots, black undertail coverts, and white patches on their flanks. Their heads are dark blue-gray with a distinctive white crescent in front of each eye. Males are in non-breeding or eclipse plumage from July to October, during which time they look like females and can easily be confused with Cinnamon Teal in the same plumage. Juveniles and females are mottled brown with a dark bill and yellowish legs. Both males and females have green-black speculums, with pale blue patches on the forewing.