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Need help with wigeon - So. Cal. (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I saw this bird near Los Angeles yesterday morning. I was wondering if it was a female Eurasian wigeon but don't encounter female-type Eurasian wigeons often enough to have a lot of confidence in the ID. I had some concern because I thought Eurasian wigeon would not show as much contrast in color between the neck and breast, and it seemed like there may be hint of a black border on the bill. The second photo shows the bird I saw together with a "normal" American wigeon.

Any thoughts?


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chris butterworth

aka The Person Named Above
There is a lot of overlap between the two species but the tertial margins do appear rather too rufous, the mantle looks more 'scalloped' for Am. Wigeon and the forehead (IMO) not quite steep enough but, without photos of the underwing ( axillaries and median underwing coverts are contrasting pure white on Am., grey on Eur. ) I wouldn't be 100% either way. The problem is exacerbated, on the west coast, by the increasing number of hybrids turning up.


Well-known member
As others have said these two species can be very tricky , but in the middle photo I am pretty sure the grey headed bird on the right is an American wigeon and though less sure the left hand bird a European wigeon.

Adam W

Well-known member
To turn it the other way round if that middle photo had been taken in Britain I think some maybe most would be claiming the right hand bird as American but I doubt anyone would be claiming the left hand bird as anything other than a 'normal' Eurasian Wigeon.
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