- Mareca americana
Male in breeding plumage: Body shows pinkish-brown flanks and breast, white belly and body side just in front of the undertail coverts, black undertail coverts. Head and neck is greyish with green eye patch and a whitish crown stripe. Wings have white upper secondary coverts, speculum dark green bordered in black; on underside white axillaries and middle coverts
Male in eclipse plumage mainly like female.
Female: belly white, breast and flanks are light brown (or rust-orange) in contrast to grey neck and head, which mostly shows darker mask around the eye than Eurasian Wigeon. White axillaries and underwing middle coverts as in male; upperside of wing with very dark speculum, brownish-grey secondary coverts that most often are whitish at the rear, rarely just as white as the coverts on a male.
 Similar Species
Eurasian Wigeon, Chiloe Wigeon. Eurasian Wigeon has grey axillaries and middle coverts in all plumages (beware of influences of bad light), and less contrast between grey on neck and brownish on body.
Female in the lead, rest are males
Photo by tehag
San Diego, California USA, October 2008
Alaska south throughout most of Canada and western United States.
Winters to north-west South America
This is a monotypic species. The closest relative of this species seems to be Chiloe Wigeon and not Eurasian Wigeon.
Formerly placed in the genus Anas.
Breeds in short-grass and other prairie in the vicinity of shallow wetlands. On migration and winter, forages in marshes, fields, and shallow waters.
A dabbling duck, but more likely to be grazing on fields than most other Anas ducks.
The diet includes vegetable matter, only females in early breeding will eat large amounts of non-vegetarian food.
Seven to ten eggs is most common, with wider variations possible. Eggs are creamy-yellow to white and nest is in grassy/scrubby areas near water.
The male has a weak clear whistle in three syllables: wee-whee-whoe (middle is higher pitched), whereas the female has a low growl qua-ack.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- SACC baseline read October 2009
- Beaman, M., S. Madge, K.M. Olsen. 1998. Fuglene i Europa, Nordafrika og MellemÃ¸sten. Copenhagen, Denmark: Gads Forlag, ISBN 87-12-02276-4
- Mowbray, Thomas. 1999. American Wigeon (Anas americana), The Birds of North America Online read October 2009
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