Scientific name: Anas penelope
The wigeon is a colourful duck that can often be spotted wheeling round our winter skies in large flocks. A dabbling duck, it surface-feeds on plants and seeds in shallow waters.
Average lifespan: 3 years
Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutA common dabbling duck, the wigeon is a winter visitor that gathers in large numbers, particularly on wet grasslands, floodplain meadows, flooded gravel pits and reservoirs with gently sloping edges where they can easily get out onto the grassy banks. Wigeon can be spotted dabbling in close-knit groups or flying in tight formations over wetlands.
How to identifyThe wigeon is a medium-sized duck with a round head and short bill. Males are grey with a pink breast, orange head, yellow forehead and obvious white wing patches that can be seen when they fly. Females are similar to Mallard females, but with rusty brown plumage and a pointed tail.
In our area
Wigeon have been spotted at our Reserve Wood Lane.