There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Monday, January 17, 2011

American Wigeon

Anas americana

Blue bill with black tip
White wing-patch
Black rear end, edged with white 

  • White / cream crown stripe
  • Dark green ear patch
  • Streaked gray lower face and neck
  • Dark brown back 
  • Pinkish-brown breast and flanks 
  • White patch at rear portion of flanks 
  • Black undertail coverts   
  • Mottled pinkish-brown body
  • Gray head   
Listen to its call.

Wigeons, like mallards, are dabbling ducks which feed mainly at the water's surface rather than by diving. That should make it easy to get a good shot, right? Unfortunately, like most days in the last couple of weeks, the weather was cloudy when I photographed this pair and it was raining by the time I left the shore. Luckily, ducks like the rain.  Me?  Not so much.

Learn more about the American Wigeon.

Additional photos:


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