Wigeon Trio

American Wigeons (Mareca americana)

These are the first migratory ducks I’ve seen this autumn other than Mallards, some of which are resident. There were three of the wigeons, two females and one male. They mixed in more or less with the Mallards, dabbling the same way and loosely keeping company. They’re dabblers like the Mallards, not divers. The tide was so low that they didn’t have to upend themselves completely to snag some greenery off the bottom. The adults are almost exclusively vegetarian. They have a reputation as thieves. I’ve seen them steal seaweed from Coots, which are good divers. But few Coots were on the water and they kept to themselves much further north.

These three have come a long way. American Wigeons breed in Alaska and northwestern to central Canada. These are survivors; they’re a popular duckhunter’s target. I last saw them here in February this year, and didn’t see any during 2020. Some of them spend the winter much further south. It remains to be seen whether these will settle in or move on.

American Wigeons (Mareca americana)

More about them: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon In Chavez Park

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