Friday, 16 January 2015

Day 76 - Wonderful Wigeon

Male Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Hi all today's Day 76 and we have been at Blacktoft Sands for dusk where I saw todays subject. It's not the only place we've seen these lovely birds. We've seen them at:
As you will know from the title and pictures today I am covering Wigeon.
As you can see they are resident at a lot of places so I guess I should get on with the facts:
  • As my little list of sites I have seen them at shows they are quite common in the UK especially in Winter as a lot come here from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia.
  • They are an amber status bird. They only have 300-500 breeding pairs which classifies as a RED Status but there are significant amounts of wintering birds in a few places throughout the UK so it ends up being an Amber List species.
Wigeon feeding
  • They are 48cm long with an 80cm wingspan. Males are a larger weight than females as they weigh 800g whereas the females weigh 650g
  • They have a diet of food mostly found in water or on grassy marshes. They eat a range of aquatic plants, grasses and roots.
  • They have a rather short life span of about 3 years but (hold on to your hats) the oldest ever wigeon was 34 years and 7 months old... Wow!
Pair of Wigeon, female in foreground
  • Now for a fact I like and will try to put more into my posts. The collective noun for a group of Wigeon is a Company. E.G. I saw a company of Wigeon at Bolton-on-Swale Lake last week.
  • They have some nick names, or 'local names', of 'The Whistler' and ' The Half Duck'. I don't know why this is but I have a feeling about the first one as I will explain in the next fact.
  • The Wigeon has a 'funny whistly call' as explained by my Dad. This is the reason that they are called 'The Whistler'. Here is a video of them calling. There is a great video and a piece of audio beneath the map on the RSPB site.
Wigeon on the wing
  • In flight you can see their white stomach and males have a large white wing patch. You can see this in the picture to the left.
Anyway, here are the links to even more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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