Wigeon Anas penelope   [Linnaeus, 1758]

Jump to: Other Names Trends & Distribution Breeding & Survival Biometrics Books & Links

For details point at or click the button; for sources point at the button

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: WN, WIGEO EURING No: 1790
Number in Britain: 440 thousand birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern(Winte
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Winter Visitor
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 48 cm Wingspan: 80 cm Weight: M: 800 g   F: 650 g    
Scientific name from: L.: anas=a duck and Gr.: penelops=a type of duck
World Distribution: BREEDS: n&c Europe & Asia, WINTERS: south to n Africa, s Asia & local in North America
Habitat: Marsh, lakes, open moor, on migration also estuaries
Diet: Mostly leaves, shoots, rhizomes, also some seeds
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Winter: 440 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    Summer: 400 to . Pairs in
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Middle Pleistocene, c. 500,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Localised Non-breeding Population, Important Non-breeding Population
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
European Population Size:
    Summer: Unavailable
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(II,III), WBD(II*,III*), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 55 x 39 mm Egg Weight: 44.0 g (of which 8 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 4
Clutch Size: 8 - 9 eggs
Incubation: 24- 25 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 40 - 45days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.530       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 3 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 34 years 7 months 0 days (set in 1996)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: F*
Wing Length Adult: 259.4 ± 10.4 Range 242 - 275 mm, N =4667
Juvenile: 253.5 ± 9.6 239 - 268 mm, N =867
Male: 265.8 ± 6.8 255 - 276 mm, N =2820
Female: 249.6 ± 6.5 239 - 260 mm, N =1846
Weight Adult: 748.5 ± 85.65 Range 610.0 - 890.0 g , N =4171
Juvenile: 676.0 ± 86.35 540.0 - 820.0 g , N =702
Male: 780.2 ± 77.03 660.0 - 905.0 g , N =2513
Female: 700.4 ± 75.02 580.0 - 825.0 g , N =1657
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Eurasian Wigeon
Gaelic: Glas-lach Welsh: Chwiwell
Danish: Pibeand Dutch: Smient
Finnish: Haapana French: Canard siffleur
German: Pfeifente Hungarian: Fütyülo réce
Icelandic: Rauðhöfðaönd Irish: Rualacha
Italian: Fischione Norwegian: Brunnakke
Polish: Swistun zwyczajny Portuguese: Piadeira
Spanish: Anade silbón Swedish: Bläsand
Local Names: Whistler, Half Duck
Collective Noun:Company

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Kear, J 2005 Ducks, geese and swans Oxford University Press [598.48 KEA]
   Cabot, D. 2009 Wildfowl Collins, London
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)