Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

American wigeon

Mareca americana (Anas americana)

Am. smient / Nordamerikanische Pfeifente / Canard 'd Amerique

 

Mareca americana (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Anas.

 

The American wigeon, also American widgeon or baldpate, is a species of dabbling duck found in North America. This species is classified with the other wigeons in the dabbling duck genus Anas, which may be split, in which case wigeons could go into their old genus Mareca again. It is the New World counterpart of the Eurasian wigeon.

 

The American wigeon is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some taller vegetation, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing, which it does very readily. While on the water, wigeon often gather with feeding coots and divers, and are known to grab pieces of vegetation brought to the surface by diving water birds. For this reason, they are sometimes called "poacher" or "robber" ducks. Wigeon also commonly feed on dry land, eating waste grain in harvested fields and grazing on pasture grasses, winter wheat, clover, and lettuce. Having a largely vegetarian diet, most wigeon migrate in the fall well before northern marshes begin to freeze. The American wigeon is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks.

 

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern (IUCN, 2012).

 

More information: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22680163/0 

 

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Above: adult pair American wigeons (male in front)

 

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Above: adult male American wigeon

 

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Above: adult pair of American wigeon (female in front)

 

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Above: adult male American wigeon

 

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Above: adult female American wigeon

 

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Ducks of the genus Mareca. Click to enlarge.

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