Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chloe Wigeon and American Wigeon

A pair of Chloe Wigeons, Regents Park, London, UK; 4/10/10.

Another water bird we saw at Regents Park in London was the Chloe Wigeon (Above). It is one of three species of wigeons, which are considered dabbling ducks, not diving ducks (such as the Tufted Duck in my 12/19 post.) Unlike other Wigeons, the genders are similar (though the male is often slightly brighter) and pairs are monogamous. This bird has a metallic greenish or blueish [depending how the light hits it (below)] head, and a gray bill with a black tip. Its breast is barred black and white and its sides are orangish brown. It has white cheeks and a white forehead and also white on its wings.
This duck is found in South America, on freshwater lakes, marshes, lagoons and slow flowing rivers. It breeds on the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. It migrates to southeastern Brazil for the winters. I am assuming that this pair we saw in Regents Park are either escapees from a private zoo or are permanent residents that the Park owns and cares for.

The same pair of Chloe Wigeons, but as the light hits it from a slightly different angle, the feathers on its head appears blueish; Regents Park, London, UK; 4/10/10.

A male American Wigeon in flight, Phoenix, AZ; 12/29/09.
The Chloe Wigeons from South America are very similar to the American Wigeons (Male, Above), which are common throughout Canada and the upper north west of the U.S. in summers and migrates down to the southern half of the U.S. and into Mexico during the winters.  I saw my fist American Wigeons a year ago while staying in Phoenix, AZ. There was quite a large flock (Below) of these birds hanging around a local park.

A flock of American Wigeons take to the safety of a lake in a Phoenix park, AZ; 12/25/09.

Female American Wigeon, Phoenix, AZ; 12/29/10.


~Val said...

Wow - the difference in color of its head feathers is amazing.

Anonymous said...

I love the rich colors of these that first image that teal spot on his head is so pretty!!!