Female American Wigeon in Barrie

While watching the gulls on 3 January 2016, we saw this female wigeon amongst the large flock of Mallards. This bird was initially proposed to be a possible Eurasian Wigeon. To obtain input on its identification, Alvaro Jaramillo posted photos on Facebook's Advanced Bird ID and Ontario Birds. Subsequent comments favour American Wigeon based on head coloration, shape and other characters. Dan McLain says: "dark gape line, more colorful sides, and white bar on the wing. It is likely a first year. The scapulars are also not as widely or warmly edged as Eurasian Wigeon." Frank Pinilla provided additional photos and analysis.


We also asked Bruce Mactavish, St. Johns, Newfoundland to comment as he sees many Eurasian Wigeons in St. Johns every winter. "It's an American Wigeon by deciding on the background colour of the head. Is it brown or gray? On this bird all the pictures show a grayish head making it an American Wigeon."

Female American Wigeon at Barrie on 3 January 2016.