Thursday, March 13, 2014

Storm Wigeon

"Storm Wigeon." Chula Vista, California. March 2, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Most people have never heard of a Storm Wigeon. You won't find it in a field guide. Only a few hunters and very few birders know this striking bird. It is a natural variant American Wigeon with an all-white face rather than speckled gray.

This bird was in a flock of about 80-100 American Wigeon. It was actually slightly larger and bulkier than the other birds in the flock. Thus, even from behind I was able to quickly find the bird again just on size. I do not think that is typical, just happened to be the case with this bird.

The white on the face and extensive green eye patch really made this bird look like his head was bigger than all the other wigeon in the flock. I think, though, that this was just an optical illusion. Or was it?

More normally-colored American Wigeon (left) with "Storm Wigeon" (right).