American Wigeons

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I look forward to autumn each year in part because autumn heralds the arrival of our seasonal ducks.  Very few ducks spend their summers here, but numerous species arrive in autumn.  I find photographing them to be rewarding.  Ducks are among our most colorful birds.

The early arrivals include American Wigeons.  I posted an image of a wigeon a couple of weeks ago and since then, they’ve been showing up in large numbers.  Some of our local ponds and man-made lakes are now covered with hundreds of these attractive dabblers.


These are rotund little ducks.  The male of this species is easily identified by the green stripe on his face, which resembles an inverted Nike logo, and by his short blue-gray beak.  Typically, the male has a whitish crest and his cheeks are gray and white in a salt and pepper pattern.

There is a color variation in this species.  Some male American Wigeons have golden heads but still retain the inverted Nike logo.


My guess is that there is one “golden” wigeon for every 50 of the more traditional variety.

Either way, these ducks are very pretty and are among my favorites to photograph.  An added bonus with these ducks is that they are not only beautiful but cute.  They don’t quack, rather they squeak, like a child’s toy, and their call is absolutely endearing.


Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm f4-5.6 ISII zoom lens+1.4x Telextender, aperture priority setting.  The first two images shot at ISO 800, f8 @ 1/1250.  The third image shot at ISO 800, f8 @ 1/125.


2 responses to “American Wigeons”

  1. Bird Animal Nature and Wildlife Photography says :

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