American & Eurasian Wigeons

In past winters, I’ve been lucky to see and photograph American Wigeons, but always at a distance.  In the past month, I’ve found them hanging out in a location closer to the shore.  Several visits finally paid off for me to really show the beauty of this dabbling duck in wonderful lighting.

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American Wigeon (male)


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American Wigeons (male & female)


The American Wigeons’ calls are a cute, unique nasal whistle.  It is pretty neat to hear them whistling constantly when they’re together in a flock.


American Wigeons


American Wigeon (male)


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American Wigeon (male)


Even when they are departing, American Wigeons are gorgeous!

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American Wigeon (male) in flight over ice


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American Wigeon (male) in flight over ice


By March, American Wigeons will return back to their breeding grounds in Canada.


American Wigeons


These American Wigeon images have me recalling my first winter photographing American Wigeons in February 2012.  Riding past the waterfront Holiday Inn at Kent Narrows, Maryland, I saw a group of people in the parking lot, along the waterfront with binoculars and cameras/tripods.

Of course, I pulled in!  I grabbed my camera & 70-200mm lens and went to see what the hoopla was about.  Several were excited to point out an Eurasian Wigeon among American Wigeons and other wintering birds.

I later learned that although common and widespread in the Old World, the Eurasian Wigeon is a sporadic visitor to North America.  The ones we are fortunate to see each year along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines likely come from eastern Siberia and Iceland.

Here’s my best shot through the reeds and cropped considerably of that Eurasian Wigeon, I shared back in 2012.


Eurasian Wigeon (male, dead center) with American Wigeons and Mallards


All the wigeons were gone the next day; and I visited quite often after that, hoping for their return, especially the Eurasian Wigeon, but to no avail.

Having only been amateur ‘birding’ for a year and a half, I found that moment quite exhilarating to see a bird that was rare to my area.

And, now, here I am, seven years later, more in love and fascinated with our amazing feathered friends, along with enjoying the opportunities to photograph and share their beauty with you.  😊

By the way, I’ve never seen an Eurasian Wigeon since.



62 thoughts on “American & Eurasian Wigeons

  1. I like seeing the American Wigeons with their bright colours and you have some lovely shots with the male and female together, in good light with great reflections in the water. It is how I see them here in Canada in the early spring with a bit of evident ice. Now, to see the Eurasian Wigeon would be such a thrill, because that is rare and no wonder there was such a gathering of birders and photographers! I am happy for you and will try and find an image of an American Wigeon that I spotted that has slightly different markings from the other males.Happy shooting!

    • Thank you, Jane! I am glad to be living in an area that has such a variety of wintering birds, including these AWigeons. Don’t you just love their whistling calls! The Eurasian Wigeon sighting was special to me, as a rare sighting is to all of us. 🙂 I’d like to see the photo you speak of. Stay warm up there!

    • Thank you, David. I forgot to mention, there were about three dozen wigeons there that day, so I had quite a few “couples” ops as they moved around. I worked the most on those and the inflight ops, took almost 200 photos. It was hard to select just a few for this post, lol. They are a beautiful sight on a cold winter day around here!

  2. I’m guessing these were at Oakley Street Beach. We were there last year in similar good light and the detail on these birds was beautiful to see. Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking of your contact with the Eurasian Wigeon. So many times we see something and never see it again and think “Oh if only I had had a longer lens, brighter sun, etc, etc,”. I guess we are always striving for ‘perfection’ in that next capture. Thanks for sharing!

    • Such a good guesser! 😉 Susan, I’ve been there several times and the lighting or clouds just didn’t do these ducks justice. They need to have the right lighting to show their beauty and that day I got these was the day finally.

      On your comments about seeing something only once and striving for better….that’s what helps drive yours and my passion with photography! Isn’t it a grand hobby?!!! 😊

  3. Beautiful crisp and colorful images of these Wigeons Donna. I love seeing them when they return here in the Winter too. I hope to get out to do some birding soon. With any luck, I’ll see some Wigeons too.

  4. Simply gorgeous images! Strange how things can be reversed, I remember my delight in seeing one of ‘your’ American Wigeon over here amongst ‘our’ Wigeon.

    • Thank you, Brian! I know what you mean, I’ve felt the same way. An example is ours and your Robin. Ours always look so stern with their eye markings while yours are so cute and adorable! 🙂

  5. This is great Donna! The beautiful American Wigeons and their Russian connection!
    Great pictures. 🙂

    • Thank you, Ashley, and you’re welcome! It was a really fun stop, there were about three dozen of them. I failed to take any wide angle shots to show them all. Still kicking myself on that, lol.

    • Thank you, Sue! I’m really thrilled with the flight shots and got quite a few photos. It was hard to select just the few I did. The full wing-spread I am happy-dancing about! 🙂

  6. Oh Donna, these are absolutely exquisite photos of the American wigeon. They are such a showy bird, and then the light, clarity, and chunky icy water just completes it. Each photo is a work of art. I liked seeing the Eurasian wigeon, too. That is so much fun when a wayward fella shows up.

    • Thank you, Jet! It took several visits to finally get a day of perfect lighting, and then to have about three dozen there, and the chunky ice, well you just couldn’t ask for more. Seeing a wayward fella just once for me is sort of like you seeing specific exotic wildlife around the world you might not see again. I think you’d agree, it is an awesome feeling! 😊

  7. Exquisite shooting, my dear! There is nothing quite like that thrill of seeing and recognizing a new bird. Even better if it’s a rare one. How clever of you to catch such great shots! Keep ’em coming!

    • Thank you, Kathy! My previous visits didn’t show those beautiful male heads because the lighting wasn’t right, hence my numerous returns hoping they’d be back. This visit was the charm!

  8. Your photos are adorable, Donna. I also enjoy watching and listening to our wigeon winter visitors. Don’t you just love their soft whistles? Good for you for having come across a Eurasian Wigeon. You have seen one more than I. 🙂

  9. Your waterfowl portraits are always a treat. These are superb. Love your header too…the lighting is pretty special. This subject is a photog niche that I don’t often visit, so I appreciate your ability to fill the void!

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