Wigeon - Hebridean Birds Sightings

Western Isles Birds - Wigeon - Though the male and female Wigeon are very different in appearance during the breeding season, both can be identified by their short, wide and slightly hooked bill, which is blue-grey in colour with a black tip.

They have short legs and a large round head shape.With large numbers of wintering birds at a few UK sites it is an Amber List species.

Robin -  Western Isles Bird Sightings
Bird Overview - Wigeon
Family
Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)
Latin name
Anas penelope

 Population
Declining - On RSPB's Amber List - 2017


Similar Species
Mallard
American Wigeon
Description
Small bill. Breeding male grey body. Black rear-end. Large white wing-patch. Pink breast. White belly. Chestnut head & neck. Creamy-buff/yellowish-orange forehead. (American Wigeon's is creamy-white). Non-breeding male fairly similar to female.

Female light-brown, & similar to female Mallard.The Wigeon is a medium-sized duck with a round head and short bill. Males are grey with a pink breast, orange head, yellow forehead and obvious white wing patches which show when they fly.

Females are similar to Mallard females but with rusty brown plumage an
d a pointed tail

Size
Length: 42 – 50cm, Wingspan: 71 – 85cm. Average weight: M 1.6 lbs., F 1.4 lbs.
Habitat
Wigeon breed on the edges of moorland pools and near lakes and woodland. Wieon often form huge flocks

Food
These lovely birds seen in The Western Isles are primarily aquatic grazers and feed primarily on pondweeds, eelgrass, other aquatic plants and grass found in shallow water and in fields and meadows.The wigeon also spend time grazing on land like a goose and also loiters around feeding flocks of diving ducks, snatching food from them when they bob back to the surface.
Voice
Wigeon habe a haunting call
Breeding
Breeds: Nests on ground, near water in dense vegetation. Lays 6-12 eggs - female rears young.
Misc. Info
Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats. When in flight, a white belly patch can be seen on both sexes. Wigeon prefer to reside in open spaces and enjoy stretches of water for bathing and for safety
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