Mareca americana - (Gmelin, 1789)
American Wigeon
Other English Common Names: American wigeon
Synonym(s): Anas americana Gmelin, 1789
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Anas americana Gmelin, 1789 (TSN 175094)
French Common Names: canard d'Amérique
Spanish Common Names: Pato Chalcuán
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104824
Element Code: ABNJB10180
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Waterfowl
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae Mareca
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Anas americana
Taxonomic Comments: Occasional hybrids between A. americana and A. penelope have been reported (AOU 1983). Formerly (AOU 1983, 1998) considered part of Anas, but now treated as separate on the basis of genetic data (Gonzalez et al. 2009) which indicate that Anas as previously constituted was paraphyletic, and further that it consisted of four deeply divergent clades, now recognized as the separate genera Sibirionetta, Spatula, Mareca, and Anas (cf. Livezey 1991). Linear sequence of genera and species follows Gonzalez et al. (2009). (AOU 2017).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 06Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 21Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (29Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5N), Alaska (S4N,S5B), Arizona (S1B,S5N), Arkansas (S5N), California (SNRB,SNRN), Colorado (S5B), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (S4N), District of Columbia (S3N), Florida (SNRN), Georgia (S5), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (S4B,S4N), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Iowa (S2B,S5N), Kansas (S3N), Kentucky (S4N), Louisiana (S5N), Maine (S1S2B,S3N), Maryland (S4N), Massachusetts (S1B,S4N), Michigan (S1S2), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (S4N), Missouri (SNRN,SNRM), Montana (S5B), Navajo Nation (S3N), Nebraska (S2), Nevada (S2B,S3N), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (S4B,S5N), New York (S3), North Carolina (S5N), North Dakota (SNRB), Oklahoma (S5N), Oregon (S5), Pennsylvania (S3N), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (S4B), Tennessee (S4N), Texas (S3B,S5N), Utah (S2S3B,S3S4N), Vermont (S1B), Virginia (SNRN), Washington (S4B,S5N), West Virginia (S2N), Wyoming (S4N,S5B)
Canada Alberta (S5B), British Columbia (S5B,S5N), Labrador (S2B,S3M), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S4B,S4S5M), Newfoundland Island (S3B,SUM), Northwest Territories (S5B), Nova Scotia (S4B), Ontario (S4), Prince Edward Island (S5B), Quebec (S4), Saskatchewan (S5B,S5M,S2N), Yukon Territory (S4B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDS: mainly Alaska east to Manitoba, south to northeastern California, northern Nevada, northern Colorado, northern Nebraska, northern Minnesota. NORTHERN WINTER: mainly southern Alaska-Mexico; central U.S. to southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley; Nova Scotia south along coast to Gulf of Mexico, West Indies, Panama, northern Colombia, Trinidad, rarely northwestern Venezuela; uncommon but regular in Hawaii. In the U.S., the highest winter densities generally occur in the coastal Pacific Northwest and the vicinity of the Texas-New Mexico border (Root 1988).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDS: mainly Alaska east to Manitoba, south to northeastern California, northern Nevada, northern Colorado, northern Nebraska, northern Minnesota. NORTHERN WINTER: mainly southern Alaska-Mexico; central U.S. to southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley; Nova Scotia south along coast to Gulf of Mexico, West Indies, Panama, northern Colombia, Trinidad, rarely northwestern Venezuela; uncommon but regular in Hawaii. In the U.S., the highest winter densities generally occur in the coastal Pacific Northwest and the vicinity of the Texas-New Mexico border (Root 1988).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Ada (16001), Bear Lake (16007), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Bonner (16017), Boundary (16021), Camas (16025), Canyon (16027), Cassia (16031), Custer (16037)*, Fremont (16043), Gooding (16047), Jefferson (16051), Kootenai (16055), Nez Perce (16069), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077)
NE Clay (31035)
VT Addison (50001), Grand Isle (50013)
WY Sublette (56035)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Otter Creek (04150402)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
10 Upper Little Blue (10270206)+
14 Big Sandy (14040104)+
16 Bear Lake (16010201)+
17 Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, Middle Owyhee (17050107)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Middle Snake-Payette (17050115)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+*, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeding begins early May in south to early June in north. Clutch size is 6-12 (usually 9-11). Incubation, by female, lasts 22-24 days (Terres 1980). Young are tended by female, independent in about 6-7 weeks (Harrison 1978).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migrates slowly northward through U.S. March-April, arriving in northern nesting areas April-May (late May-early June in Beaufort Sea region). Migrates southward in fall. Present in Puerto Rico and Colombia (uncommon) October-April, Costa Rica October-March (may leave early in very dry years) (Stiles and Skutch 1989). Migrates in small dense flocks. In late spring or early summer, males make long-distance molt migrations to marshes with broad expanses of open water.
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Herbaceous wetland, Lagoon, River mouth/tidal river, Tidal flat/shore
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Large marshes and lakes; when not breeding, in both freshwater and brackish areas and foraging in marsh edges, sloughs and sheltered bays (AOU 1983). Nests in freshwater situations with exposed shorelines; on dry land on islands, near lakes, ponds or sloughs; but often relatively far from water.
Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore
Food Comments: Feeds on leaves, stems, buds, and some seeds of pondweeds, wigeon grass, grasses, and sedges. Forages in shallow water and grazes in fields. May also take some snails, beetles, and crickets (Terres 1980).

On the water, primarily in wintering areas, they may be closely associated with American Coots (Fulica americana) and various species of diving ducks, pilfering plant material brought to the surface by these species as they themselves are not proficient divers (Birds of North America online, accessed December 2012).

Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 48 centimeters
Weight: 792 grams
Economic Attributes
Help
Economic Comments: May damage cultivated crops (Bellrose 1976).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Dabbling Ducks

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance a compromise between three times average home range diameters (about 5-6 kilometers), and the great mobility of these birds. Home ranges: female Black Duck, mean 130 hectares during prelaying and laying period (n = 7, Ringelman et al. 1982); Mallards, mean 283 hectares (Dzubin 1955), 210 hectares (females) and 240 hectares (males) (Gilmer et al. 1975).
Breeding site fidelity: female Black Ducks in New England, 25% returned to nest in the following year, most within 91 meters of previous nest (Coulter and Miller 1968).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1.6 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Diameter of average home range of Mallards (Gilmer et al. 1975).
Date: 08Mar2001
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Staging area, Foraging area, Roosting area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating or staging flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds/0.5 square kilometer in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 11Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Molting area, Wintering area, Non-breeding feeding concentration area, Roosting area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of molting or wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds/0.5 square kilometer in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Mapping Guidance: Map roosting and feeding areas with separate polygons in same EO.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 10 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Wintering flocks of American Black Ducks fly an average of 10 kilometres from roost to foraging area, but have been recorded flying up to 43 kilometres (Frazer et al. 1990). However, occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 29May2001
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 04Mar1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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