Definitions

wigeon

wigeon

[wij-uhn]
or widgeon

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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Widgeon redirects here. For the aircraft, see Grumman Widgeon

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.

Morphology

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.

Taxonomy

The thee species' closest relatives are believed to be the Gadwall and the Falcated Duck and the five are together sometimes separated from Anas into their own genus Mareca.

Hybridisation

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

Footnotes

References

Hybridisation

  • Bailey, H. H. (1919) An interesting hybrid of Mareca penelope (Widgon) and Mareca americana (Baldpate) Wilson Bulletin 31:25
  • Harrison, J. M. and J. G. Harrison (1968) Wigeon × Chiloe Wigeon hybrid resembling American Wigeon British Birds 61: 169-171
  • Watson, G. E. (1970) A presumed wild hybrid Baldpate × Eurasian Wigeon The Auk 87: 353-7
  • Shiota, T. (1987) [A challenge in the identificaiton of hybrid American and Eurasian Wigeon] Yacho 496:6, 18-19
  • Carey, Geoff J. (1993) Hybrid male wigeon in East Asia Hong Kong Bird Report 1992 160-6
  • Fedynich, Alan M. & Olin E. Rhodes, Jr. (1993) Mallard × American Wigeon Hybrid on the Southern High Plains of Texas The Southwestern Naturalist, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 1993), pp. 179-181, doi:10.2307/3672079
  • Harrop, Andrew (1994) Photo-forum: a presumed hybrid American Wigeon in Grampian Birding World 7:116-7
  • MacKay, Andrew (1996) Hybrid wigeon resembling American Wigeon in Leicestershire Birding World' 9:146-7
  • Jiguet, Frédéric (1999) Photo-forum: hybrid American Wigeons Birding World 12(6):247-52

External links

Photographs of hybrid wigeons can be seen here and here

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