Monday, May 28, 2018

Storm Wigeon again

What is a Storm Wigeon? It's a male American Wigeon with a white face.

Most adult males have a speckled solid-looking gray-brown face, a green eye patch, and white crown. I've seen a few birds with the white crowns extending down to immediately around the bill. But only three that also had white cheeks as the bird pictured below. Most of these, though, show some speckling on the neck, as does this bird.

Storm Wigeon
Storm Wigeon--a white-headed variant of American Wigeon.
February 18, 2018. Chula Vista, California.
A previous page on Storm Wigeon is one of the most-popular pages on my blog. I suspect that more hunters than birders visit that page, as the Storm Wigeon is said to be highly-prized by hunters for trophy birds.

An alternative name is "white-cheeked wigeon."

Speaking of alternative names, the American Wigeon is called Baldpate in my 1940 Edition of Birds of Oregon by Gabrielson and Jewett. In my first Peterson's Field Guide to Western Birds (1969) it was American Widgeon (with a 'd'). In 1973 the name officially changed from "widgeon" to "wigeon." Not sure why, but I think it simply reflects a change of English language usage generally, not specifically birders or ornithologists.

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