The American Wigeon is a medium-sized dabbling duck that measures about 16-23 inches in length and has a wingspan of approximately 28-31 inches. The male wigeon has a distinctive greenish patch on its forehead, which contrasts with its white crown and cheeks. It also has a gray-blue beak and reddish-brown eyes. On the other hand, the female wigeon features brown feathers with distinct pale blue patches on her wings.
Where To Find This Bird
The American Wigeon can be found throughout North America, specifically in Alaska, Canada, and various parts of the United States. During migration periods or winter months, you may even find them as far south as Central America.
These birds prefer shallow water bodies such as marshes, ponds, lakeshores and estuaries to feed on aquatic plants like algae or grasses growing from underwater soil. They often migrate to coastal brackish water habitats to breed during breeding season.
As dabbling ducks known for their versatile eating habits mainly involving plant matter like seeds , leaves and stems . But they are opportunistic feeders who also eat animal food sources such as mollusks , crustaceans , worms , insects .
- American Wigeons have many different common names including “baldpate” due to their contrasting white cap.
- Their whistling calls sound similar to “whee-whee” or “do-you-see-it” sounds.
- Males perform an elaborate courtship display where they stretch out their necks while making soft calls towards females.
- In some cultures like China these birds were once used medicinally for curing eye diseases.
- These ducks are known to form mixed flocks with other waterbirds like geese, shorebirds and swans.
In conclusion, the American Wigeon is a beautiful duck species that has adapted well to a variety of North American environments. They are fascinating birds with unique behaviors that bird enthusiasts can appreciate. So next time you spot an American Wigeon while out on your nature walk, take some time to admire their beauty and interesting traits!