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American Wigeon

Mareca americana

In the olden days the American Wigeon was called “Baldplate” because of their white crown. These birds breed mostly in Canada and Alaska, but also in the northern tier of the USA.

The American Wigeon has a shorter bill than other dabblers. This is believed to be an adaptation to help them harvest the plant food they prefer.

While the population of these birds is not “threatened”, they’ve been dropping by about 2% per year for past half century resulting in a 65% over that period. Drought and wet cycles affect the population, but loss of habitat because of agricultural practices seems to be a strong factor.

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