American Wigeon

Anas americana

The American Wigeon drake has a distinctive white forehead with a deep green stripe running from the eye to the back. The body, chest, back and sides are light brown while the belly is white and the rump is black. Bold white shoulder patches on the drake are visible in flight. The hen is generally brown and has duller shoulder patches than the drake. Both sexes have stubby bills and slightly pointed tails.

Length: 21"
Weight: 1 3/4 lbs.

illustration of the american wigeon

These are nervous birds, quick to take alarm. Their flight is fast, irregular, with many twists and turns. In a bunched flock, their movements have been compared to those of pigeons.

Illustration of the wings of an American Wigeon

When open water is handy, wigeons often raft up offshore until late afternoon when they move to marshes and ponds to feed.

Illustration of an American Wigeon Drake

The white belly and forewing are very showy in the air.

American Wigeon
Illustration of American Wigeon in flightIllustration of a side view of American Wigeon in flight

Illustration of typical flock patterns for American Wigeons

Drakes whistle; hens have a loud kaow and a lower qua-awk.