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Eurasian Wigeon

From Opus

Photo by jmorlanLake Forest, California, USA, November 2003
Photo by jmorlan
Lake Forest, California, USA, November 2003
Anas penelope


[edit] Identification

  • L. 13.5 in
  • W. 32 in

[edit] Adult Male

  • Large dabbling duck
  • Blue bill with black nail
  • White secondary coverts and green speculum
  • Gray axillars
  • White belly

[edit] Adult female

FemalePhoto by cheersm8Cambridgeshire, UK, October 2009
Photo by cheersm8
Cambridgeshire, UK, October 2009
  • Blue bill with black tip
  • Mottled dark brown body plumage with
  • Rustier flanks
  • Contrasting with paler head and neck
  • Dusky eye patch
  • Secondary coverts grayer than male

[edit] Juvenile

Similar to adult female.

[edit] Distribution

A common summer visitor to the north of the Palearctic region breeding in Iceland and northern Britain, throughout most of Scandinavia except southern Sweden and across northern Russia to the Pacific. More scattered populations breed in Poland and the Baltic States and occasionally small numbers breed south of main range in southern Britain and eastern Europe.

Present in breeding range April-September, widespread in winter and found along many coastlines from Iceland, the British Isles and Denmark south to the North African coast. Also around the Black and Caspian Seas and in southern Iraq and eastwards across temperate Asia. Small numbers occur in sub-Saharan Africa and Arabia.

Photo by targetmanLincolnshire, October 2009
Photo by targetman
Lincolnshire, October 2009

[edit] Vagrancy

Vagrants have been recorded on the Azores and Madeira, Borneo, Sulawesi and Hawaii. Regular in small numbers on both coasts of North America and a common migrant through the Aleutians.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1], which is sometimes placed in the genus Mareca.

[edit] Habitat

Breeds in dense cover close to freshwater lakes and marshes in open and sometimes wooded areas. Highly gregarious in winter around estuaries and on coastal grassland. Grazes on pastures as well as feeding in shallow water and often associates with Brent Geese in estuaries and on coastal farmland.

[edit] Behaviour

Flocks readily with other ducks: e.g. Teal, Tufted Duck and Pochard.

[edit] Diet

Dabbles and dives for plants and roots.

[edit] Breeding

The nest is laid beside a fresh water body in reeds, grass or heather. There is a single clutch laid between April and June. The ten to twelve eggs are plain creamy white or buff..

[edit] Vocalisation

Rising whistling contact call is distinctive and unique.

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs ISBN 0723200602

[edit] External Links


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