Wigeon

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"Widgeon" redirects here. For other uses, see Widgeon (disambiguation).
Wigeons
Anas penelope 2.jpg
Male (rear) and female (front) Eurasian wigeons.
Recorded Dorset, England
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Subgenus: Mareca
Species

The wigeons or widgeons are dabbling ducks in the genus Anas.

Biology[edit]

Male (front) and female (rear) American wigeons.
Male (rear) and female (front) Chiloé wigeons.

There are three extant species: the Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope), the American wigeon (A. americana) and the Chiloé wigeon (A. sibilatrix). A fourth species, the Amsterdam wigeon (Anas marecula), became extinct in the 19th century. The wigeons are closely related to the gadwall and the falcated duck.[1][2]

All three wigeons are similarly shaped, with a steep forehead and bulbous rear to the head. Males have a distinctive breeding plumage, in their eclipse plumage they resemble females, which are similar in appearance year-round.[citation needed] The three species' closest relatives within the genus Anas are the gadwall and the falcated duck.[1] All three wigeon species hybridise in captivity[3] while American and Eurasian wigeons hybridise in the wild.[4] An American wigeon × mallard hybrid has also been recorded.[5]

The American wigeon was formerly called the baldpate by ornithologists, and some people still use that name, especially hunters.

The diet of the wigeon consists mainly of grass leaves (~80%), other food types eaten are seeds (~10%) and roots and stems (~5%).[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Johnson, KP; Sorenson, MD (1999). "Phylogeny and biogeography of dabbling ducks (genus: Anas): A comparison of molecular and morphological evidence" (PDF). The Auk. 116 (3): 792–805. doi:10.2307/4089339. 
  2. ^ Gonzalez, J.; Düttmann, H.; Wink, M. (2009). "Phylogenetic relationships based on two mitochondrial genes and hybridization patterns in Anatidae". Journal of Zoology. 279: 310–318. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00622.x. 
  3. ^ Jiguet, Frédéric (1999). "Photo-forum: hybrid American Wigeons". Birding World. 12 (6): 247–52. 
  4. ^ Carey, Geoff J. (1993). Hybrid male wigeon in East Asia Hong Kong Bird Report 1992 160-6
  5. ^ Fedynich, Alan M. & Rhodes, Olin E., Jr. (1993). "Mallard × American Wigeon Hybrid on the Southern High Plains of Texas". The Southwestern Naturalist. 38: 179. doi:10.2307/3672079. 
  6. ^ Owen, Myrfyn; Thomas, G. J. (1979-01-01). "The Feeding Ecology and Conservation of Wigeon Wintering at the Ouse Washes, England". Journal of Applied Ecology. 16 (3): 795–809. doi:10.2307/2402854. JSTOR 2402854. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Photographs of hybrid wigeons can be seen here and here.