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American Wigeon Mareca americana

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  • American Wigeon male
  • © Steven Mlodinow

A common North American duck, the American Wigeon can often be found in freshwater swamps, pools and shallow lakes. They can be found in both fresh and saltwater, but during the nonbreeding season, when they are found in the neotropics as far south as northern South America, they can be found in coastal estuaries and bays. Sometimes placed in the genus Mareca, the American Wigeon forms a superspecies with the Eurasian and Chiloe Wigeons. Formerly called “baldpate,” by hunters referring to the light tan crown patch on breeding males, the American Wigeon receives extensive hunting pressure throughout its range. Despite this, the American Wigeon remains extremely abundant; recent population estimates have numbered this species at between six and seven million individuals.

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Male slow whistle calls

© Michael J Andersen

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

American Wigeon (Mareca americana), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/amewig