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Chiloé wigeon

Mareca sibilatrix (Anas sibilatrix)

Chili smient / Chilepfeifente / Canard de Chiloé


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


The Chiloé wigeon, also known as the southern wigeon, is one of three extant species of wigeon. This bird is indigenous to the southern part of South America, including the Chiloé Archipelago. In its native range, it is called the pato overo ("piebald duck") or pato real ("royal duck"), although the latter name also refers to the Muscovy in the wild. Its specific epithet, sibilatrix, means 'whistler', referring to the bird's call.


This duck is indigenous to the southern part of South America, where it is found on freshwater lakes, marshes, shallow lagoons and slow flowing rivers. Vagrants have been observed in South Georgia, South Orkney and the South Shetland Islands.

It breeds primarily in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. The northern border of the breeding range is in Argentina at 36° S and Chile at 40° S. It also breeds sparingly in the Falkland Islands. It migrates to southeastern Brazil for the winter.

It was first introduced to Europe in 1870; it soon bred in zoos. Today it is widespread. 


The Chiloé wigeon displays a variety of behaviors depending on habitat. It is an omnivore, feeding predominantly on aquatic plants and grass, and occasionally coastal algae.

This monogamous species breeds in the austral spring, between September and December. Pairs inhabit very small breeding territories, building their nests in grasses and under bushes. The female lays eight to ten white or cream-colored eggs. After a gestation period of approximately 24–25 days the ducklings are born. The father helps raise the ducklings, however, he leaves the family after the offspring molt.


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 very 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/22680167/0



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



Above: adult female of Chiloé wigeon



Above: adult pair of Chiloé wigeon (male in front)



Above: adult pair of Chiloé wigeon (male in front)



Above: adult pair of Chiloé wigeon (male left, female right)



Above: adult male of Chiloé wigeon



Ducks of the genus Mareca. Click to enlarge.


Above: rearing juvenile Chiloe wigeons

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