Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), Scottsdale, Maricopa County
This Eurasian Wigeon was
found and photographed by Pierre Deviche on 20 December 2008 at the ponds at the
intersection of Hayden and Indian School in Scottsdale.
Eurasian Wigeon has become something of a "Scottsdale Specialty." The
urban ponds in this city attract a few Eurasian Wigeon among large flocks of
American Wigeon every winter. Away from Scottsdale Eurasian Wigeon is a
casual winter visitor to the rest of the state.
American and Eurasian Wigeon are almost as common as pure Eurasians in Arizona,
so care must be taken in all identifications. A hybrid was present at the
same location as this bird (see
here). The rufous head with cream forehead separates this species from
pure American Wigeon. Consistent with this being a pure Eurasian Wigeon, there is no green patch behind the eye and no apparent dark line
at the base of the bill.
The flight picture suggests that underwings are gray, NOT white as in American.
However, a pure Eurasian Wigeon would have pure gray sides. This bird has
mottled sides that are more typical of a hybrid. However, mottling
elsewhere on the bird suggests this bird is in the final stages of molting from
immature plumage (see here). The
flanks are speckled gray and show a clear color separation with breast - also consistent with Eurasian.
If this bird winters, it will be interesting to track the progress of its molt
and see if it assumes the plumage of a pure Eurasian in a few weeks.
20 December 2008, photo by Pierre DevicheAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 20 December 2008