Sunday, December 8, 2019

Storm Wigeon

I was aware of the existence of Storm Wigeons for some time, but I do not know exactly when I learned about them. Tbey are not illustrated in my field guides. Storm Wigeons are an uncommon “natural variant” (Mini et al. 2014) of male American Wigeons that have white around the front of their heads and necks. Discovering much more about Storm Wigeons is difficult. I can find nothing substantive about their biology or genetics. These ducks do have some presence in hunting websites. Storm Wigeons are prized by hunters. The name is an old folk name and may refer to influxes of wigeons in general during fall storms. In any case, on the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge estuary boardwalk on 5 December, a fellow birder mentioned she saw a Storm Wigeon. For a bird we had never seen, we had no trouble finding one or two among the numerous regularly plumaged wigeons.

1 comment:

  1. Ben Pierce has a good facebook post about the Storm Wigeon, with several variants within that category. He says it's a recessive gene.