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Conservation status: Amber

The wigeon is a medium-sized duck with a round head and small bill. The head and neck of the male are chestnut, with a yellow forehead, pink breast and grey body. In flight birds show white bellies and males have a large white wing patch. Birds breed in central and northern Scotland and also in northern England. Many birds visit the UK in winter from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia. With large numbers of wintering birds at a few UK sites it is an Amber List species.



Latin name

Anas penelope


Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

Large numbers winter on the coast. A great place to see thousands together is on the RSPB Ouse Washes nature reserve in Cambridgeshire.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Aquatic plants, grasses, roots.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-300-500 pairs450,000 birds-




Ruud van Beusekom, Xeno-canto