The Wigeons Are Back

Wigeons and Coots
Coots and Wigeons
Wigeons (green stripe, brown) very interested in yield of Coot’s dive

Mixed in with a raft of Coots near the south edge of the North Basin this morning, dozens of American Wigeon made their first appearance of the season, to my eyes.  These ducks, as I wrote here when I first learned about them, really aren’t the kind of neighbors you want if you’re a diving bird.  Wigeons are dabblers, same as Mallards, not divers.  Here they are in deep water at peak high tide, where dabbling is impossible.  However, Coots dive rather well. Wigeons don’t mind helping themselves to whatever a nearby diving bird brings up.  They’re thieves and, in the words of the Audubon website, “they get much of their food by stealing it from other birds such as coots or diving ducks.” The Coots, as I noted earlier, probably aren’t the brightest bulbs in the bird chandelier, so they aren’t seen trying to get away, or maybe they tried and were foiled.  A plague of Wigeons is upon them. 

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