[birding] Fwd: Grand Prairie Park (Albany) Eurasian Wigeons & plumage notes

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Mon Nov 17 07:29:13 PST 2014

Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2014 22:35:14 -0800
Subject: [obol] Eurasian Wigeons, plumage
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman at peak.org>

Hi -
I made a brief visit to Grand Prairie Park while running an errand in
Albany today.  There were 3 drake Eurasian Wigeons present, among fewer
than 100 American Wigeons.  This place often has unusual numbers of
Eurasians, considering the modest numbers of American Wigeons.

I was surprised to see that the drake with the cleanest red head, with
no green at all around the eyes, had quite a bit of red - almost
chestnut - on his flanks.  Normally, the combination of green around the
eyes and red or pink tones in the flanks is indicative of hybrids.

A second bird with quite a bit of green, and with the remainder of the
head a paler reddish tan had the completely gray flanks of a pure

The third bird had a mostly red head with a small amount of green around
its eyes, and mostly gray flanks with some chestnut patches.

It turns out that in eclipse plumage, Eurasians have chestnut flanks,
and this time of year some have not completed molt into the winter
gray-flanked plumage, so this character is not reliable for
distinguishing hybrids until the molt is complete, perhaps a few more


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