Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide


Anas penelope
Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Genus:  Anas

Species: A. penelope
Note the very distinctive yellow forehead contrasting with the chestnut neck and head. Most often seen in large flocks grazing by freshwater pools.

The Male Wigeon is a small rounded duck, in Winter it has a chestnut head, grey body and a pink breast. It has a distinctive bold yellow forehead.

Adult Male Winter
Winter visitor
Resident bird
Passage Migrant
Summer visitor
Northern Wigeon distribution
General distribution:
Breeds in Northern Europe and in the North of the UK where around 400 pair breed. Very widespread in Winter with up to 440,000 wintering throughout the UK.
The Wigeon often forms huge flocks, most often seen grazing on grass around freshwater. The Wigeon is a very vocal duck with a distinctive and haunting call.
The Wigeon breeds on the edges of moorland pools and sometimes around lakes near woodland. During Winter it can be found in estuaries, freshwater marshes, flooded pasture and reservoirs.
In Summer the Male Wigeon can be difficult to separate from the Female. The Male however retains his white wing flashes, visible here. The Male also tends to be redder than the Female and on this bird you can just see the pinkish/reddish colouration on the breast and neck.
Thanks to:Bryan's bird photography
Identifying a Wigeon

Mostly grey body

Pink breast

*Yellow forehead
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* key ID points
Adult Female
Male Wigeon duck flying
Identifying a Female Wigeon
Identifying a Male Wigeon

*Black tipped greyish bill

Mottled rust-brown body, white belly.

* key ID points
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*Chestnut head and neck

Male and Female Wigeon, as often seen grazing on grass.
Wildfowl (Ducks)
Female Wigeon duck flying
Adult Male Summer (Eclipse)

*Bold white patches on upper wings

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Identifying a Male Wigeon in Summer

No white on wings, unlike the Male

*Black tipped greyish bill

The Female Wigeon is a rust-brown bird with a white belly, it bill is similar to the Males, grey with a black tip.
Identifying a Female Wigeon
Thanks to:
The Female Wigeon is a mostly brown bird, the bill is a distinctive feature. The Female lacks the strong white wing bars of the Male