Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Different Sort of Wigeon

American Wigeon are a type of duck that's pretty common on open water this time of year.  They are striking birds, with a bright cream stripe following the crown of an otherwise green and brownish head.   

But, occasionally, a different Wigeon shows up in the U.S.  Eurasian Wigeons are the Old World counterpart to the New World American Wigeons.  Eurasian Wigeons are pretty rare visitors, seen every year, but in low numbers.  A Eurasian Wigeon's head is a dark cinnamon, although the cream stripe is the same.

I was fortunate to hear about, and locate, a Eurasian Wigeon just up the road from us, hanging out in a wetland mitigation project in a township park.  Usually, in situations like that, I go and see every bird in the world, except for the one I'm looking for.  But this Wigeon was not elusive at all.

The only duck that provided anything close to a good photo opportunity was this Green-Winged Teal and his mate.  Teal are one of the smaller ducks, and they have a Eurasian counterpart, too, called Common Teal.  I don't think I have ever heard of a Common Teal sighting, though, certainly not one nearby.

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