The blue-winged teal is one of the first ducks to migrate south in the fall and one of the last to migrate north in the spring. A few only migrate as far as the southern US, but the majority travel all the way to South America.

The female selects the nest site and the male defends it while his mate incubates an average of 10 eggs. Once the eggs hatch she leads her brood to water where they are able to feed themselves.