Tuesday, February 12, 2013

American Wigeon

American Wigeon
American Wigeon at Commonwealth Park, Beaverton, Oregon on January 21, 2013 by Greg Gillson.

Your local city park with a pond may allow you better photos of ducks than a wild, isolated area. One recent day this winter the sun was shining brightly so I went to such a local city park. I didn't realize it at the time, but it wasn't a school day. Screaming kids, joggers, dog walkers, a few fishermen. It didn't matter. The wildlife here was well used to the hubbub. The only thing that disturbed them much was when an adult Bald Eagle flew over. Then the 5 Greater White-fronted Geese that have adopted this park for the winter chased the eagle off to the north, honking and bombing it. That's something I've never seen before!

This city park habitually holds 150-200 American Wigeon and is a great place to look for Eurasian Wigeon in winter. I've had up to 6 males and a female here at one time at this little park. Oddly, this winter Eurasian Wigeons have been hard to come by, and none were spotted this day.

Wigeon were briefly flushed to the lake by a passerby on a leash. This photo was taken as the birds flew back from the lake up onto the bank to graze on the lawn again. Click on the photo for a view of about double at 1200 pixels wide.