• Type: Puddle Duck
• Incubation: 25 days
• Clutch Size: 8-10 eggs
• Young Fledge: 37-48 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: aquatic plants, upland grasses, agricultural plants, aquatic insects, beetles, mollusks, and crustaceans
The male wigeon is pinkish-brown with large white wing patches and a black-and-white tail. He has a large patch of green on each side of the face and a pale blue bill. The white belly and forewing of the wigeon are very showy in the air. The secondary coverts are white and the speculum is green. The top of the male's head is also white. The feet and legs of the wigeon are blue-gray.
Habitat and Habits
When open water is handy, wigeons often raft up offshore until late afternoon when they move to marshes and ponds to feed on aquatc plants, grass, and grains. These are nervous birds, quick to take alarm. Their flight is fast, irregular, with many twists and turns. Drakes whistle and hens have a loud keow and a lower qua-awk. An interesting facet of American wigeon behavior is their penchant for "kleptoparasitism" or piracy. Lusting for deepwater vegetation beyond their reach, wigeon sometimes frequent deep waters where divers like redhead and lesser scaup feed. When the diver surfaces, the wigeon snatches the food.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Eight to 10 creamy-white eggs can be found in the nest, a down and feather-lined depression in a clump of grass. The female provides care of the offspring without the help of the male. The precocial young are able to leave the nest with the female within 24 hours of hatching.