Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, I ran into a fellow birder walking along the service road just west of Madera Road. I had stopped to document a Cinnamon Teal I had just seen when we struck up a conversation. The guy had started off from the Simi Valley Community Park near Royal and Erringer and asked me if I had seen the Eurasian Wigeon that was frequenting the duck pond there. When he told me that he had seen it there an hour or two earlier, I jumped in the car and head to the park.

Sure enough, at the duck pond, there amongst the chaos of ducks, geese and coots that call the duck pond home was a solitary, male Eurasian Wigeon. Like its new world counterpart, the Eurasian Wigeon is a dabbling duck. According to the Kaufman Field Guide to North American Birds, the Eurasian Wigeon is a native to Europe and Asia. It is a rare, winter visitor to North America that is most often seen with flocks of American Wigeons. Male Eurasian Wigeons are identified by their rusty heads, buff crown stripe, and gray body. Females are very similar to female American Wigeons although they may have a slightly browner head.