Wednesday, June 12, 2013

American Widgeon

American Widgeon - Anus Americana

Widgeon pairs have been prominent in the ponds along my regular hike. I generally only see one pair at a time and I've seen pairs regularly in Discovery Duck Pond, Beaver Bay, and the Glenmore Runoff Reservoir. I expect at least one of these pairs will breed and I hope to see chicks later this month. 
Most of the widgeons flush very quickly when I approach a pond and I was surprised today that this pair allowed some photographs. 

The male looks like a juvenile. This pair might be in transit and not breeding, and perhaps they have not learned to be skittish of my presence. 
The widgeon has several adaptations to feed on land. The legs are further forward than many ducks, which changes the center of gravity and allows walking on land. The short, high bill allows these ducks to clip or dig up land vegetation. Earlier this spring I saw thousands of widgeons in transit and many were on fields foraging for food. 

The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007.

Baicich PJ, Harrison CJO. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Princeton UP. 2005.

Beadle D, Rising J. Sparrows of the United States and Canada. Princeton UP. 2003.

Fisher C, Acorn J. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. 1998.

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2001.

Tudge Colin. The Bird. Crown Publishers. New York. 2008.


Louise said...

Nice Photos!

Louise said...

Nice photos!