AMERICAN WIGEON


Anas americana


Description:

A wary dabbling duck that instantly takes flight if disturbed. This bird often hangs out with diving birds such as Coots and Redheads. Its company is not for pleasure, however, the Wigeon waits at the surface for a diving bird to return with an aquatic invertebrate, which the Wigeon then steals. Seeds and green plant matter are also on the Wigeon's menu.


Appearance:

General: 18 to 23 inches in length.

Male: White crown. Green post-ocular stripe. Lower face and neck are gray with spotting. Rust colored breast and flanks. Dark brown back. White patch at rear end of flanks. Black undertail coverts. White shoulder patches. White belly. Blue bill with black tip. Green speculum. Immature male similar to adult female. Female: Dark brown mottled body with rustier flanks. Pale gray head and neck with spotting. Blue bill with black tip. Dusky eye patch. White shoulder patch. Green speculum.


Habitat:

Shallow lakes, ponds, and marshes.


Nesting:

9-11 whitish or cream colored eggs with a 23-25 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 37-48 days after hatching. The nest is made from grass and is lined with down.


Observed Locations:

  • Santee Lakes, Santee
  • San Diego River Flood Control Channel (near SeaWorld), San Diego
  • J Street Marina, Chula Vista


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