Alberta, Canada
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American Wigeon
Anas americana
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General Description

By Andrew Slater

The American Wigeon breeds over the whole of Alberta, except for the in Rocky Mountains. In most years, it is probably our third most numerous surface-feeding duck, after Mallard and Northern Pintail.

Wigeons are among the earliest arrivals in late March, and leave in September and October. They are one of the dabblers most likely to overwinter in small numbers on unfrozen stretches of the Bow River and elsewhere.

The diet of the American Wigeon consists of grass and young shoots growing in fields. In the water, like other dabblers, thay eat aquatic plants.

The nest of this duck is in a concealed place on the ground, often quite far from any water. The nest is made of grass and leaves, and lined with downy feathers.

Notes for the Swans, Geese and Ducks section: Seasonal distributions have been checked against the range maps in A Field Guide to the Birds of North America by the National Geographic Society. Migration periods have been checked against the occurrence chart in A Birdfinding Guide to the Calgary Region by the Calgary Field Naturalists Society. Diet and Nesting information have largely been obtained from Birds of Alberta by Fisher and Acorn and the earlier Birds of Alberta by Salt and Salt.

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Where to find American Wigeons in Alberta   

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