Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Wigeon Male
Eurasian Wigeon Female

Eurasian Wigeons stand out among dabbling ducks because of the bright, creamy patch on their heads that contrasts with their cinnamon-red head and blue-gray bill. Their backs are gray as well as their sides.

They have pinkish breasts, and their wings have white shoulder patches with a green layer at the bottom. Females are mostly brown, with scaly patterns all over and white bellies.

  • Mareca penelope
  • Length: 18 – 20 in (46 – 51 cm)
  • Weight: 35.27 oz (1000 g)
  • Wingspan: 30 – 32 in (76 – 81 cm)


Eurasian Wigeons can sometimes be spotted during winter in the US in a few areas.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Eurasian Wigeons on wet grasslands, tidal flats, marshes, ponds, and lakes. Eurasian Wigeons usually join other dabbling ducks when they forage for food. They eat aquatic vegetation that is either submerged or just below the surface of the water.

Eurasian Wigeons also like to relax on land, and they are known to snatch food from other ducks as they surface from feeding.

Eurasian Wigeon Calls:


Nests of Eurasian Wigeons are usually in shallow holes in the ground, protected by tall grasses and weeds. Females create the nests using grass and feathers and are often near the water.

Females lay from seven to nine eggs. They incubate them for about twenty-five days, and then it takes around two months before the young can fly. 

Fun Fact:

The “Penelope” in the Eurasian Wigeon’s scientific name comes from Greek Mythology, after Odysseus’ wife, who was rescued by a duck when she was thrown into the ocean.