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.


  1. Interesting variation and nice pics.

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

  3. take an air rifle and get it next time

  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

    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.

  5. Nice photo of a very interesting bird. I thought I would share my photo of the interesting bird as well.