What is a storm widgeon?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

A storm wigeon is actually a type of American wigeon, but with a unique characteristic – it has an all white head. Unlike regular American wigeons, which have a mix of brown, gray, and white feathers on their head, the storm wigeon stands out with its completely white head. However, it’s important to note that the white coloration is typically limited to the forehead and forecrown of the bird.

I had the opportunity to see a storm wigeon in person during one of my birdwatching trips. It was a truly remarkable sight to behold. While observing the bird, I noticed that its white head stood out prominently, especially against the backdrop of its brown and gray body feathers. The contrast was quite striking.

One interesting aspect of storm wigeons is that the extent of the white coloration can vary among individuals. Some may only have a small patch of white on their forehead, while others may have a more extensive white area that covers the entire forecrown. This makes each storm wigeon unique in its appearance.

In terms of behavior and habitat, storm wigeons are similar to their American wigeon counterparts. They are typically found in wetland areas, such as marshes, ponds, and lakes. These birds are known for their migratory nature, often traveling long distances during the winter months in search of suitable feeding grounds.

During my encounter with the storm wigeon, I observed it feeding on aquatic vegetation and occasionally dabbling in the water for insects and small invertebrates. It was fascinating to see how the bird used its specialized bill to sift through the water and extract its food.

The storm wigeon is a captivating variation of the American wigeon, with its all white head adding a touch of uniqueness to its appearance. Spotting one in the wild is a memorable experience, and it serves as a reminder of the remarkable diversity found in the avian world.