Sunday, February 12, 2012

American Wigeon - "White Cheeked"

While taking some shots of various ducks at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, I noticed an American Wigeon with a rather white face. It was among a feeding frenzy caused by a visitor tossing feed into the water. It really stood out from the rest of the ducks.
I did a web search on "white cheeked" American Wigeons and found that it is a rare morph. One site stated that it occurs in about 1 out of every 500 birds. Not that rare considering the number one can see around here doing the winter. Based on some of the pictures I saw, some cases are not as extreme as this bird's coloration, so I suppose it may not always be as apparent.
A typical male American Wigeon taken earlier in the day at Westmoreland Park, cheeks heavily covered in small dark specks.

7 comments:

  1. Interesting variation and nice pics.

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  2. Really is a very special duck, congratulations on the photos

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  3. take an air rifle and get it next time

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  4. HI Rick,
    What camera and lens combination are you using for the ducks?? The photos are wonderful. I have been birding all summer and my photos are not near as clear.
    Doreen in Alberta , Canada

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    Replies
    1. Hi Doreen. These pictures were taken with a Nikon D90 and a 70-300mm zoom lens. Most likely the zoom was set to 300mm.

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