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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : American Wigeon

Hebrides Bird Sightings - American Wigeon

American Wigeon

(Wigeon, Widgeon, Baldpate)

Anas americana

Photograph © Andy Robinson
Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)


Our Wigeon photographs

American Wigeon


  • American Wigeon (Wigeon, Widgeon, Baldpate)
  • UK: Scarce visitor, 6 annual records BTO
  • WI: Rare visitor (less than 30 records)
  • Breeds North-West & Central America
  • Winters: South USA to Northerly South America. Gregarious outside of breeding season
  • Habitat: Open wetlands, wet grassland, marshes lochs, wet meadows (usually with some taller vegetation) Migration also rivers, estuaries
  • Diet: (Herbivore) Grazing for food - has short serrated-edged bill. Herbs, grasses, Wigeon grass, eelgrass, algae, roots. Also dabbling, pondweeds & other aquatic plants
  • Dabbling duck. Adult male in breeding season: pinkish brown body, greyish head with greenish eye patch, creamy white crown stripe (Common Wigeon's is creamy-buff/yellowish-orange) , black rear-end, white wing-patch (speculum). Non-breeding male fairly similar to female. Female light-brown, & similar to female Mallard.
  • Similar bird: Wigeon. Female & male American Wigeon out of breeding season similar to Mallard


John Burgis saw a drake American Wigeon in Fivepenny, Ness Isle of Lewis 5th November, 2007:

"Strange looking widgeon among large flockof widgeon feeding in flooded field at Fivepenny, late Monday afternoon....
Looked exactly same shape as the other widgeon, same beak shape and colours, fewer white feathers under body, tail shape and feathers were very similar.
Main difference was in its head colours. White stripe down top of head, followed by dark greyish greenish area down under its eye which then curved down towards back of neck with quite a prominent band.
The neck feathers under this band was a light grey colour.
Went to a birder up the road who also saw same bird. Thought is it a hybrid. We looked in our books and American Widgeon stood out. Internet photos confirmed exactly same bird.
By now too dark to try for photos".

John Burgis


American Wigeon records in the Western Isles

Rare visitor (less than 30 records)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)
















(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)



Male and female ducks and their collective nouns

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush



Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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