When I first got into birding, the American Wigeon really impressed me. I thought it was such a cool looking bird and it made funny sounds. Then I discovered how abundant in winter these waterfowl are and I noted them for eBird, looked thru their flocks for Eurasian Wigeons, and largely ignored the American Wigeons. Now that I am adding bird photography to my pasttime I am taking a second deeper and longer look at even the common and abundant birds. Here are photos from a few Eagle, Idaho neighborhood ponds while I enjoyed observing Wigeon behavior.
|Male - buffy forehead, dark green eye/head stripe, smooth color pattern on body.|
|Juvenile - slightly patterned flanks and dark feathers on upper parts|
|Males and females in the foreground foraging in the grass - a common sight. Note how the adult female's flanks are more solid than the juvenile. The grey-brown head lacks any trace of a future green head stripe.|
|After nibbling on grass, they move as a flock into the water and all take a sip...well, they can't actually sip or suck, so they get water in their bills and then tip their heads back to swallow as shown here.|
|Preening - I thought the fluffed-up feathers that are normally concealed looked kind of wren-pattern-like.|
|Grass foraging - I have seen flocks numbering 1000 birds in Boise area parks.|
|A handsome male American Wigeon among the autumn leaves.|