Birds Of Southern California

Eurasian-American Wigeon (hybrid) (Anas penelope americana)

Since this is clearly a hyrbid and information on the American Wigeon has been posted on this site, here's information on the Eurasian Wigeon. Note, one key identifier is this species lacks a complete solid rufous coloring from the line of demarcation on the head to the base of neck. A true Eurasian shows no streaking in this area. This streaking is that of an American Wigeon. More on the Eurasian: This dabbling duck is 42–52 cm (17–20 in) long with a 71–80 cm (28–31 in) wingspan, and a weight of 500–1,073 g (1.102–2.366 lb).[3][4] The breeding male has grey flanks and back, with a black rear end and a dark green speculum and a brilliant white patch on upper wings, obvious in flight or at rest. It has a pink breast, white belly, and a chestnut head with a creamy crown. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female. The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female American wigeon. It can be distinguished from most other ducks, apart from American wigeon, on shape. However, that species has a paler head and white axillaries on its underwing. The female can be a rufous morph with a redder head, and a gray morph with a more gray head. More on the Hybrid: The Eurasian wigeon is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some taller vegetation, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing, which it does very readily. It nests on the ground, near water and under cover. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. They will join with flocks of the American wigeon in the United States, and they also hybridize with them.[3] This is a noisy species. The male has a clear whistle that sounds like: "pjiew pjiew", whereas the female has a low growl : "rawr".