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tedsandyman

American / Eurasian Wigeon

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Hi, I was curious if anyone had any thoughts of whether this is an American Wigeon or Eurasian Wigeon. They aren't good photos, but perhaps someone with more knowledge sees something I'm missing. I read that contrasting head and breast is an indicator of American, though not sure what to make of it here where the head and breast are the same but contrast with the sides. (Looks like some Eurasian's can have that coloration: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/120869161 , assuming that's id'd right). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

wigeon1.jpg

wigeon2.JPG

wigeon3.JPG

Edited by tedsandyman

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I see what you mean where the back of the head / neck does look a little lighter than the breast in the first photo, though I suspect that's partly due to the back of the neck receiving the most direct sunlight. 

I found another bird on eBird (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S15549541) that seems to be somewhat similar, with a warmer-colored head than most American Wigeons, but not clearly a Eurasian Wigeon.

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I don't know this ID very well, but found an article that might help. 

Wigeon Identification
PDFpublications.aba.org › birding_archive_fi...

The link is showing up weird, but it should be the PDF

 

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4 hours ago, tedsandyman said:

I see what you mean where the back of the head / neck does look a little lighter than the breast in the first photo, though I suspect that's partly due to the back of the neck receiving the most direct sunlight. 

 I found another bird on eBird (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S15549541) that seems to be somewhat similar, with a warmer-colored head than most American Wigeons, but not clearly a Eurasian Wigeon.

I see what you mean now. This does look like a candidate for Eurasian.

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akiley, I'm not able to get that link to work (I appreciate the thought though). I was able to find another article on separating them http://www.azfo.org/gallery/EUWI_article_ BirdingVol37No2.pdf

One interesting quote from it:

Quote

...to birders familiar with American Wigeon, Eurasian Wigeon can appear to have a surprisingly small head. Also, in relaxed posture, Eurasian Wigeon has a short, steeply rising forehead with a fairly flat crown dropping off sharply at the nape. American Wigeon typically had a higher forehead that reaches a slight peak just before or above the eye. After the peak, the head tapers off smoothly to a fairly rounded nape. This gives American a somewhat puffy, rounded appearance to the head, contrasting with Eurasian’s smaller, angular head.

That fits my impression--I initially didn't think it was a wigeon at all since male and female American Wigeons I've seen usually have had a unique big / puffy-headed look to them. 

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Found another photo. Not sure if it's the same bird. One interesting quote from the article above pertaining to the photo: 

Quote

"...in most instances, if the head is darker than the breast, then you are looking at a Eurasian."

 

wigeon5.JPG

Edited by tedsandyman

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