Anas penelope


Be sure to look for this bird when observing a flock of its counterpart, the American Wigeon, as they often mingle. Like its counterpart, this wigeon has unusual feeding habits; it will graze on land like a goose or steal food from a diving duck as it returns to the surface. It feeds on a variety of grasses and algae.


General: 18-20 inches in length.

Male: Rusty-brown head and green speculum. Buff crown. Gray body. Rusty-buff or pinkish-buff breast. White patch at rear of flanks. Black undertail coverts. Pale blue bill with black tip. Large white shoulder patch.

Female: Mottled gray-brown or rusty-brown body. Paler head and neck. Dusky eye patch and green speculum. Pale blue bill with black tip. Large white shoulder patch.

Juvenile: Similar to adult female.


Marshes, ponds, lakes, and tidal flats (during non-breeding).


7-8 cream-white eggs. They have a 24 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 40-45 days after hatching. The nest is made from grass and lined with down. It is built on the ground and usually hidden in vegetation some distance from the water.

Observed Locations:

  • San Diego Flood Control Channel, San Diego
  • J Street Marina, Chula Vista

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