Date: 10/20/19 2:35 pm From: coloradodipper via Colorado Birds <cobirds...> Subject: Re: [cobirds] wigeon ID help, Boulder Co
While your bird is a bit interesting, I now believe that it is a male American. Upon first looking at the photos on my phone, I came to the conclusion that it is a hybrid, but now that I've looked at them on a computer I do not.
Male Americans often show obvious, even strong, buff or yellow tones to the crown stripe. Additionally, from knowing the month (Oct) and from the appearance of the bird, it is certainly still in the midst of its fall molt, whether the preformative of a first-year bird or the prebasic of an adult, I know not. [See here for molt and plumage terms.] Thus, some plumage features can be expected to be incomplete, oddly colored (due to mixed feather generations), or otherwise confusing. However, the bird shows the thin, black border to the base of the bill typical of American, as well as the dark-streaked gray head feathering and the pink sides.
Unless any Eurowiggle genes were provided many generations earlier, I would expect more-obvious signs of hybridity.
Tony LeukeringWiley, CO
wigeon ID help, Boulder Co
| Peter Ruprecht <pruprecht...>: Oct 20 12:02AM
I and several others saw a male wigeon this afternoon in SE Boulder Co (viewed from private property.) It looked distinctly different from the others around it, with a much buffier pate, slightly grayer sides, and much less of a green eye stripe. In some light its head showed an almost iridescent-looking cinnamon shine, though usually it seemed mostly gray.
Some not-so-great digiscoped cell phone pics are attached.
Do you all think this guy is within the normal range of American Wigeon variation, is it maybe still coming out of eclipse plumage, or might it have some Eurasian ancestors? Any opinions welcome!