American Wigeon

The American Wigeon is a small duck with a short, pale bluish bill and round head. Males and females are both mostly brown, however males have a bright green stripe extending behind their eye and white stripe on the top of their head.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Mareca americana
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
2-5 Years
SIZE
16.5-23 ” | 1.2-2.5 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Waterfowl
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

During all times of year, the American Wigeon prefers slow moving freshwater. They can be found in slow-moving rivers and streams, marshes, lakes, and reservoirs. In Nevada, they can be found in the winter, migrating through, and year-round in the northern parts of Nevada.

  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Marsh
  • Rivers and streams

Threats

  • Drought
  • Habitat Loss
  • Water Diversion

Natural History

Female American Wigeons construct their nests on the ground but are always very near water. A clutch between three and thirteen eggs is laid. Ducklings are able to leave the nest and follow the female around for food shortly after hatching.
Wigeons are mostly plant eaters consuming leaves and stems of many different types of aquatic plants. They will also forage on land for seeds and leaves. They can even be found on golf courses foraging for grass. During breeding season and brooding they will consume more insects and other invertebrates.

Fun Facts

American Wigeons are known for being food thieves and stealing food from other ducks.