Wigeon

Irish Name: Rualacha
Scientific name: Anas penelope
Bird Family: Ducks
red
Conservation status

Status

Common winter visitor to wetlands throughout Ireland from September and April.

Identification

A medium-sized duck with large rounded head, small bill and pointed tail. The males has a russet head and neck with a creamy yellow crown and forehead. The breast ispinkish-grey, and the rest of the body is grey and white with a black stern. The female is a greyish brown colour with various mottled patterns. Speculum dull, dark.

Voice

Call is a loud whistling note.

Diet

This species grazes on coastal seagrass and algae, particularly on Zostera spp. and Enteromorpha spp., and also feeds regularly on grasslands and cereal crops.

Breeding

Breed on shallow freshwater marshes, under tussocks adjacent to lakes and lagoons or on lake islands.

Wintering

Widespread - they occur on coastal marshes, freshwater and brackish lagoons, estuaries, bays. Many on inland wetlands, lakes, rivers and turloughs. The Icelandic breeding component of this population winters mostly in Ireland and western Britain, though some continue on to parts of continental Europe.

Monitored by

Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS)

Similar Species

Teal

Irish Name:
Praslacha
Scientific name:
Anas crecca
Bird Family:
Ducks

Mallard

Irish Name:
Mallard
Scientific name:
Anas platyrhynchos
Bird Family:
Ducks

Pintail

Irish Name:
Biorearrach
Scientific name:
Anas acuta
Bird Family:
Ducks

Pochard

Irish Name:
Póiseard cíordhearg
Scientific name:
Aythya ferina
Bird Family:
Ducks