(Anas penelope)




Facts about this animal

The wigeon is a medium-sized dabbling duck. Body-weight in males is about 720g, in females 640 g. It is 42-50 cm long with a 71-80 cm wingspan, and has a round head and small, blue bill with a black nail.

The breeding plumage of the male is unmistakable. It is characterised by a rufous head with a yellowish crown. pink breast, pale grey back and flanks. A white patch at the rear portion of flanks and black undertail coverts. I The female is relatively distinctive for a dabbling duck since she is darker, plainer and more rufous than other females with a characteristic head shape: steep at the front, rounded at the back and with a small grey bill. n flight birds show – in all plumages - white bellies and males have a large white wing patch.
br> The nest is usually well concealed. 7 to 11 cream-coloured eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female alone for 23-25 days.

The food of the wigeon consists mainly of aquatic plants, eelgrass, short grass and herbs, and insects.

Did you know?
that the Wigeon is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies? This agreement is an independent international treaty developed under the auspices of the United Nations. It was concluded on 16 June 1995 in the Hague (NL) and entered into force on 1 November 1999. The Agreement provides for coordinated and concerted action to be taken by the Range States throughout the migration system of waterbirds to which it applies. In 2006, WAZA was the first NGO to host a Technical Conference of AEWA.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Anas penelope
Name (English) Wigeon
Name (French) Canard siffleur
Name (German) Pfeifente
Name (Spanish) Silbón europeo
Local names Czech: Hvízdák eurasijský
Dutch: Smient
Estonian: Viupart
Finnish: Haapana
Greek: Sphyrichtari
Hungarian: Fütyüló réce
Italian: Fischione
Polish: Swistun
Portuguese: Piadeira
Romansh: Anda da la blassa
Swedish: Bläsand
CITES Status Appendix III (Danemark)
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.)<br> Included in AEWA



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Arian Pingstone



Range Breeds in Iceland, across Europe and asia. Winters from Britiosh Isles south to North Africa, in Southern asia and in Japan.
Habitat Shallow, freshwater lakes, pools and rivers where there is cover for nesting. Wintering also at estuaries and coastal marshes or gravel pits.
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 2,800,000 to 3,300,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 279 reported to ISIS (2006).

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The wigeon is not a threatened species. Zoos keep them for educational purposes and as an ambassador species for wetland conservation. Depending of the location of its location and of the size and quality of its waterfowl ponds, wigeons may chose a zoo for wintering or even breeding.