Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

American Wigeon (Mareca americana)


French: Canard d’Amérique German: Kanadapfeifente Spanish: Silbón americano

Anas americana

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Louisiana and New York, USA


Normally placed in Anas. Closest to M. penelope and M. sibilatrix (see M. penelope). Hybridizes with M. penelope#R. Monotypic.


NW to CE North America and S as far as NE California and N Colorado. Winters S to N South America, Hawaii, West Indies.

Descriptive notes

45–56 cm; male 318–1134 g, female 408–1043 g; wingspan 76–89 cm. Compared to M. penelope, present species typically has longer bill, neck and... read more


Comparatively vocal, but vocalizations generally weaker and more trisyllabic (less disyllabic) than... read more


Freshwater swamps, pools and shallow lakes (typically of 0·2–0·4 ha) surrounded... read more

Food and feeding

Grasses, sedges, herbs and greener parts of crops and aquatic plants; some invertebrates, which have been calculated to comprise just c. 1... read more


Starts Apr/May, with egg laying starting in May. Monogamous; pair-bonds probably start to form in winter quarters, even as early as Nov (... read more


Winters mostly along Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America and inland S to Panama, as well... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant, with large population estimated at over 6,500,000 in early autumn during mid 1970s in North America; annual aerial surveys... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). American Wigeon (Mareca americana). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).