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Male wigeons have a distinctive white crown. They are brownish with a gray head, a green ear patch and bold white shoulder patches. Females are mottled brown with a gray head and neck and whitish shoulder patches. Both sexes have pale blue feet, a pale blue, black-tipped bill and a green speculum.
Flying wigeons can be recognized by the large white patch covering the front of the wing. In other ducks with white patches, the patches are on the hind edge, although the similarly placed blue wingpatches of the blue-winged teal and shoveler often appear white at a distance. From beneath, the sharply outlined, white belly and dark, pointed tail are good field marks. The flight is fast and irregular with many twists and turns.
American Wigeon Key Field Marks
Medium-sized dabbling duck with white crown (males); large white patch on forewing (both sexes).