Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, Pima County
female or immature male Eurasian Wigeon was discovered by Mark Stevenson on 11 November 2008 and photographed by Andrew Core on 13 November 2008.
Eurasian Wigeon is rare in Arizona, although it is found regularly in a limited number of specific locations, often in urban ponds with large flocks of American Wigeon. Most reports are of easily identified breeding plumaged males and there are very few records of birds in other plumages. Part of this is certainly that they are overlooked, but there may also be an actual bias for males to occur in the state. All female wigeon should be studied carefully.
For the AZFO ID Challenge on female wigeon identification, click
here. Immature males are more rufous
colored, whereas females can vary from rufous to gray, which are sometimes
considered to be different morphs. The quickest way to pick out Eurasian Wigeon
in this plumage is that the head is usually the same
color as the breast. In American, the gray head contrasts with
the more warmly colored breast. In these pictures you can also see the
plain face, lack of black at the base of the bill and long wings that reach the
tail that help confirm the ID. Features of the outstretched wing can also
help with the ID (see above article) but these are obviously difficult to see
and to capture in a photo.
13 November 2008, photo by Andrew Core
Submitted on 14 November 2008