American Wigeon

American Wigeon

Scientific Classification

Common Name
American wigeon, baldpate
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus Species
Anas (duck) americana (America)

Fast Facts

Description
American wigeons are medium-sized ducks.  They have a white crown with a green post-ocular stripe and gray on their lower face and neck.  The breast and flanks are rusty and the back is dark brown. American wigeons also have a white patch on the rear portion of the flanks and black under the tail coverts
Size
Reaches lengths of approximately 35 cm (14 in.); wingspan 87 cm (34 in.)
Weight
Approximately 1.01 kg (2.25 lbs.)
Diet
Seeds, leaves, stems, buds of pondweeds, widgeon grass, sedges, rice, snails, beetles, and crickets
Incubation
Approximately 22 to 24 days
Clutch Size
9 to 11 eggs
Fledging Duration
45 to 48 days
Sexual Maturity
About 1 year
Life Span
Averages 9 to 10 years
Range
Found in northern and central North America; winters in coastal and southern North America and Central America.
Habitat
Inhabits small and shallow permanent ponds in the vicinity of woodlands with dense nesting foliage nearby.
Population
Global: Unknown
Status 
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

Wigeons are known to let other ducks gather food for them then steal it. They also tend to follow other migrating ducks in order to get food.

Wigeons are diving ducks, not dabbling ducks, and will completely submerge themselves to chase food.

These ducks alert their fellow ducks of danger by alarm quacks and rattling their wings.


Ecology and Conservation

These birds are a food source for predators and also help maintain plant growth.


Bibliography

Austin, G. Birds of the World. New York. Golden Press, Inc., 1961.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Johnsgard, P. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.

Scott, P. A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.