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Eurasian Widgeon
 European Widgeon

[ Chiloé Wigeon ] [ American Wigeon ] [ European Wigeon ]



Eurasian Wigeons can often be found in the company of American Wigeons. The male's bright russet-red head, topped with a crème stripe, and it's gray back and sides distinguish it from its American cousin. Females of the two species are so similar that separation in the field is unreliable. However, Adult female Eurasian Wigeons have two color phases: gray and red. Females in reddish plumage have russet-brown heads, necks, chests, backs, sides, and flanks, with a much redder tinge than in female American Wigeons. Eurasian Wigeon males have a black speckled russet-red neck and head topped with a crème stripe. The breast is grayish-pink and the lower breast, belly, and sides of the rear body behind the flanks are white. The flanks are finely vermiculated and appear gray. In flight, a white shoulder patch and green speculum are displayed. The bill is blue-gray with a black tip and the legs and feet are blue-gray. Eurasian Wigeon females have gray-brown to russet-brown heads, necks, chests, backs, sides and flanks. The bill is blue-gray with a black tip and the legs and feet are blue-gray.

Average length: M 19.3", F 17.9
Average weight: M 1.6 lbs., F 1.4 lbs.



European Wigeon nest farther north than any other dabbling duck with the exception of the northern pintail. They breed throughout northern Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Alaska, and the Northwest Territories. European Wigeons prefer shallow lakes and marshy sloughs that are surrounded by dry sedge-lined meadows and contain submerged vegetation. Female European Wigeons lay an average of 9 eggs.


General Comments

Eurasian Wigeons are aquatic grazers and feed primarily on pondweeds, eelgrass, other aquatic plants, and grass found in shallow water and in fields and meadows.
The majority of Eurasian Wigeons winter from Iceland, the British Isles, northern Europe, southern Russia, and Japan south to the eastern Atlantic islands, Africa, Arabia, India, the Malay Peninsula, southern China, Formosa, and the Philippines. In North America, the Eurasian Wigeon is an occasional visitor to the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to northern Baja California and the Atlantic-Gulf coast from Labrador and Newfoundland south to Florida and west to southern Texas.




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