Friday, March 29, 2019

Eurasian Wigeon

Yesterday, 28 March 2019, we took a day off from setting up house in Olympia. We took a short stroll at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, only a ten mile drive. We found a single Eurasian Wigeon feeding in tall marsh grass about a quarter mile from us. Hurray for a 3000 mm lens and to Erika’s volunteering to be a human tripod. Unlike American Wigeons, this duck has a chestnut head and a large, cream-colored crown.

When we visited Olympia last December, we unsuccessfully searched for Eurasian Wigeons. They are common across the Old World. Eurasian Wigeons appear along the North American coasts and individuals stray to almost every US state. They are, however, not known to breed in the New World—our Eurasian Wigeons probably breed in Siberia or Iceland. The oldest Eurasian Wigeon, however, was banded in California and recovered over ten years later, also in California (Allaboutbirds). Although I listed the species in Europe, this sighting is my first in this hemisphere.

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