American Wigeon - Anas americana


Medium-sized, short-necked, and compact dabbling duck with short, small bill, peaked forehead, pointed tail, and narrow wings; Male has white forehead and crown, glossy green patch on side of otherwise speckled grey head and neck, pink-brown back, breast, and flanks, white forewing and belly, and black undertail. Sexes dissimilar, but no seasonal differences apart from eclipse. Juvenile closely resembles adult. Female similar to Eurasian Wigeon and care needed to clinch identification; white auxiliaries diagnostic (greyish in Eurasian Wigeon).

Similar Species

Eurasian Wigeon

Identification difficulty

When breeding concentrated in boreal and subarctic zones with slight overlap into temperate and fairly numerous occurrences, often sporadic, in steppe zone. Prefers shallow, open, broad, fresh waters, with ample submerged or floating vegetation. In winter assemblies on lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and deltas. Individuals not infrequently summer in winter quarters.

When to see it

Most likely from September until March but has been recorded in all months in the UK.

Life History

In the breeding season it is found mainly boreal and subarctic zones.

UK Status

It is a regular vagrant to the UK with over 500 records.

VC55 Status

There have been five VC55 records up to and including 2011, including male & females.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map