American Wigeon

Anas americana

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

AMWI

Code 6

ANAAME

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

PHOTOS 1200

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The American Wigeon can be found practically all over the world, including numerous countries in North America and South America. There have also been sightings of this bird in other countries such as France, Lithuania, Portugal and many others in the Middle East and Europe. With a range of more than 7 million square kilometers, the American Wigeon currently has a population of nearly 3 million individual birds. The American Wigeon has a current rating of Least Concern, due to no currently grave concerns for population decline. In 2000, the rating was Lower Risk.

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

SUMMARY

Overview

American Wigeon: This is a medium-sized duck with a brown body, white crown, a large green ear patch extending to the back of the head, buff washed breast and sides and a white belly. It has a swift direct flight with strong wing beats. Shoulder patches are visible in flight. It has a black-tipped pale blue bill. It feeds on aquatic plants, insects and mollusks. The sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat North America

American Wigeon: Common throughout much of North America. Breeds from Alaska, northern Manitoba and southern Quebec south to Nevada, the Dakotas, Colorado, and the Great Lakes region, rarely farther east. Spends winters mainly along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts. Marshes, ponds, and shallow lakes are preferred habitats.


Range and Habitat Hawaii

American Wigeon: The American Wigeon breeds in Alaska and parts of Canada. This species in common in winter in the Hawaiian Islands. It is usually found in mixed groups of ducks. Its preferred habitats include marshes, ponds, and shallow lakes.

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • The American Wigeon was formerly known as "Baldpate" because the white stripe on their crown resembles a bald man's head.
  • Their diet has a higher proportion of plant matter than the diet of any other dabbling duck.
  • Their short bill enables them to exert more force at the bill tip than other dabbling ducks, thus permitting efficient dislodging and plucking of vegetation.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

If displayed, the purpose of this map is to show how this species is distributed in North America.

Range Map for American Wigeon HD

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

If displayed, the purpose of this map is to show how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island chains.

Range Map Hawaii for American Wigeon

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Lang Elliott Sound

American Wigeon 1

  • Title: American Wigeon 1
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Squeaky high pitched whistles of the male.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: NE

Squeaky high pitched whistles of the male.

American Wigeon 2

  • Title: American Wigeon 2
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Courting group of males whistling and females grunting and growling.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: UT

Courting group of males whistling and females grunting and growling.

American Wigeon 3

  • Title: American Wigeon 3
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Female growling.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: ND

Female growling.

Voice Text

"Whew, whew, whew"

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Ear patchX
Consists of soft, loose-webbed feathers on the side of the bird's head below and behind the eyes.
ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X