BIRD OF THE WEEK / WEEK 12: March 19, 2018

© Liron Gertsman

Bird

American Wigeon

Species Name

Anas americana

Appearance

42-59 cm length | 76-91 cm wingspan | 512-1330 gm weight

A medium-sized dabbling duck with a round head, short neck and small bill. It is larger than a teal but smaller than a pintail.

The drake is brown with a white belly, speckled brown face and neck, an iridescent-green eye mask and a cream coloured cap that spans to its black-tipped, blue bill. The legs and feet are grey. The hen is brown and grey. In eclipse plumage the male loses most of its bright colouring and looks more similar to the female.

Habitat / Behaviour

Herbivore | Wetland, rivers, lakes | Migratory | Lives up to 21 years. Average about 2 years.

Common in the wetlands of boreal forests and subartic river deltas.

This dabbling duck will gather with diving ducks and coots to feed off of the vegetation brought to the surface by their underwater foraging activity. They will also feed on dry land, eating the seeds and other parts of grasses, winter wheat, clover, and lettuce.

Breeding

Monogamous | Ground nest | Lays 3-12 creamy white eggs