This rare Asian visitor features a short bushy crest (like a ducktail hairdo) on the hindcrown and nape and elongated tertial feathers that combine to make it unlike any other North American duck in appearance. Male: Finely vermiculated gray overall, with a darker scaly pattern on the breast and a black rump. Long black and white tertials drape over the rump into the water. The head is iridescent green with a bronze crown and a crest which comes to a point at the nape. The throat is white with a blackish band around the lower neck. This feature may be hidden when the bird is at rest. The undertail coverts are boldly patterned black and white. Female: Warm brown overall with a whitish belly, similar to female Eurasian Wigeon. The bill is thin and blackish. The short bushy crest is distinctive. The dull green speculum has a white leading edge. In flight, underside of wing is a uniform pale gray.
Male separated from male Gadwall by multi-colored head, white on throat, black and white instead of solid black undertail coverts. Eurasian Wigeon male is not crested and the head is mostly cinnamon brown rather than mostly green.
Length: 48 (cm) Wingspan: 79 (cm)
Freshwater wetlands, lakes, and meadows.
Vagrants to Oregon and California have returned to the exact same sites in successive winters.
Grazes and dabbles for aquatic plants.
Have seen and photographed this bird in 2011 and 2012 at Colusa NWR [Colusa, California]. Usually easily seen from viewing platform. Apparently it comes closest to the platform in early morning.
Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this occasionally, confident.
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|Tom Roach added a note to Falcated Duck Notes||2/18/2013 at 3:23AM|