Eurasian Wigeon X American Wigeon Hybrid, (Anas penelope X Anas americana), Scottdale, Maricopa County
This Eurasian Wigeon X American Wigeon hybrid was found and photographed by Pierre Deviche on 20 December 2008 at the ponds at the intersection of Hayden and Indian School in Scottsdale. This is probably the same bird returning from last winter (see here).
American Wigeon is abundant in Arizona during winter. Eurasian Wigeon is rare but regular in small
numbers during winter in Maricopa County, especially in the urban ponds of
Scottsdale. Hybrids between American and Eurasian Wigeon are almost as
common as pure Eurasians in Arizona, so care must be taken in all
This male is an interesting Eurasian X American Wigeon intergrade, with many features intermediate between the two species. Head pattern is intermediate between the two species: Cheeks are speckled (American), but somewhat rufous (Eurasian). It has a broad green band behind eye (American), but lot of rufous on nape, in particular (Eurasian). Flanks are gray (Eurasian), but no clear limit between these and the breast (American).
American Wigeon is the most individually variable of North American ducks.
The amount of white on the head is especially variable and varies from just the
forehead being white to the entire head excluding the green stripe being white.
The forehead color also varies from white to buffy. These birds should not
be identified as hybrids. They always have a black line at the base of the
bill and never have gray in the flanks.
20 December 2008, photo by Pierre DevicheAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 20 December 2008