Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eurasian Wigeon

Another case of not knowing what I had until I got the images on my computer. I knew this duck looked different, but it was quite a distance from me, so I couldn't identify it. Actually, had I been much closer I still wouldn't have know what it was, but at least I would have known for sure that it was a new bird for me.
I saw these yesterday at TRNWR on the main pond near the visitor center. I've been checking the water levels from the visitor center overlook recently since they raised the drains. A small amount of water has collected in the deepest areas and ducks are starting to frequent it. It's mostly been Northern Pintails, a few American Wigeons and Mallards.
The duck on the left is definitely a Eurasian Wigeon. I'm not sure about the one on the right. I thought it was a female, but it has a rather large patch across its eye. It may be a pale male American Wigeon. Whatever the case, they were swimming together.
There is a little more green around the left duck's eye than both Sibley and Cornell show, for a Eurasian but not nearly as much as Sibley illustrates for a Eurasian x American Wigeon hybrid. A search on the web returns many pictures of Eurasian Wigeon with at least the amount of green that this one has. So it may be a pure bred.

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