Wildlife in Italy: Wigeon Anas penelope

Wildlife in Italy: Wigeon Anas penelope

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidi
Kind: Anas
Species: penelope

It nests in northern Europe and Asia, migrates to southern Asia and Africa to beyond the Tropic of Cancer.

Wigeon male (photo

Wigeon, couple (photo John C. Avise)

Wigeon in flight (photo Marco Ciarla)

Distinctive characters

The weight is 500-700g, it is a surface duck, a short beak, blackboard blue color with black apex, short and round tail, grayish brown legs. The male in a wedding dress is characterized by a reddish brown head, a yellowish forehead, a pinkish brown chest, a vermiculated gray back and sides, a white belly, a white front of the wings, a green and black wing mirror and a white-black caudal region. The female has a streaked reddish brown color, with a white belly. The eclipse livery of the male similar to the female but has brighter colors.


It prefers lakes, estuaries, lagoons and bays during the winter season; during the reproductive period, it prefers swamps, meadows and rivers. In Italy it is double-handed (August-November February-March), occasionally breeding. Fly in tight flocks (V), walk with ease and rise directly from the surface of the water. Usually he reaches the shore at dusk to eat. Its diet is mainly vegetable, but also molluscs, insects. The species is monogamous, the female lays only once a year, 7-8 cream-colored eggs without speckling, which hatches for 25 days and after the female takes care of the offspring for 6 weeks.
The population seems to have suffered from reclamation and hunting.
It does not willingly join other ducks, and the female often takes on the colors of the male.

curated by Sauro Giannerini

Video: Wigeons - Anas penelope (June 2022).


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