American Wigeon

American Wigeon, male

American Wigeon, male

Now here’s a jazzy-looking duck.  They, too, are getting ready to leave their warm winter grounds here in northern California, and we will not see them again until next winter.


The American Wigeon breeds in the tundra and boreal forests of northern states and Canada in warmer months, and then migrates south for the winter.  They can be found primarily in open-water wetlands where they prefer shallow waters for their diet of submerged vegetation.  A medium-sized duck averaging 19 inches in length, they are fairly common throughout the United States.


Often seen in mixed flocks, Anas americana are easy to spot for their white crown and forehead, and powder-blue bill.  When I’m standing in the dense fog and pouring rain observing winter birds, the green eye patch does not shimmer, it looks black; but the unusual crown and bill offer a pleasant reprieve of this easy-to-recognize duck.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


35 thoughts on “American Wigeon

  1. That’s a great pic. I wonder what the ducks we’ve called wigeons really are. They’re not as brightly colored but have the same bill characteristics and dark tail. (Florida)

  2. Beautiful image of this gorgeous bird. Thank you for pointing out the white crown and forehead. 🙂 So they stay in N CA and Canada through January then move to south?

  3. Gorgeous bird, great photo by the way! Captured the colors perfectly to get the light reflections not seen often. Thanks Jet! 🙂

    • Exactly! So, SO many beautiful ducks; and often the male and female of the species vary, so that makes for a huge array of colors and shapes. Once you start looking at them, really looking at them, you’re in a new world. Thanks so much, BJ, and you have yourself a great weekend. (I hope you don’t mind I call you BJ?) 😀

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