Any of four species of dabbling ducks, popular game and food birds. The male European wigeon (Anas penelope) has a reddish head, cream forehead, and gray back. The male American wigeon, or baldpate (A. americana), has a white crown, green eye stripe, and brown back. Baldpates often graze on young grasses. The Cape wigeon (A. capensis) of Africa is a nocturnal feeder.
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Wigeon are dabbling ducks in the genus Anas. There are three species: the Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), the American Wigeon (A. americana) and the Chilöe Wigeon (A. sibilatrix). Widgeon is an alternative, though archaic, spelling; the American Wigeon has in the past been known as Baldpate.
All three 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.
All three wigeon species hybridise in captivity, and American and Eurasian Wigeons hybridise in the wild. An American Wigeon × Mallard hybrid has also been recorded