017 (Eurasian) Wigeon
(Anas penelope)


42-50cm. The Eurasian Wigeon is a medium-sized, short-necked duck, with rounded, comparatively large head, small bill and pointed tail. In flight, these characters apparent as well as narrow neck, pointed wings, and outer wing generally swept back. Flight fast. In all plumages, note distinct white belly patch. Axillaries and underwing-coverts dusky pale grey. Adult male breeding: Unmistakable; head and neck chestnut, forehead and crown creamy-yellow, breast greyish-pink, rest of body grey with white and black stern. In flight, large white patch on upper forewing striking, speculum green.


In Hungary the Eurasian Wigeon is common migrant in autumn (September-November) and spring (March-April). In case of mild weather regularly overwinters in small numbers and smaller flocks regularly oversummer on extensive wetlands. Prefers standing waters with shallow coastal zone and surrounded by grassy areas, but on migration it can be observed on large rivers, too.

017 (Eurasian) Wigeon pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008