Wishin’ for a Wigeon


I have been fascinated with the American Wigeons (Anas americana).  I guess it’s because I’ve always seen them from a distance and they always looked strange to me.  They have a white crown that, from far away, always looked fuzzy and out of focus.  I never could get a decent photograph, but I kept wishin’ that an opportunity would someday arise. 

That changed a couple of mornings ago.  I happened to drive by this little pond that is in the Bluffs residential division.  It was really cold and nasty.  Windy and blowing rain.  I was having second thoughts of being in the area.  The storm hadn’t hit yet when I had left the house.  But as I drove by the pond, there were a couple of these ducks fairly close to the road on the right.  I decided to drive on by, turn around and come back and see if I could get a photo from the car.

American Wigeon

I was in luck.  The rain stopped for a few minutes.  I crept closer along the left side of the road and rolled down my window.  I was able to use my Canon 7D with a 500mm lens and 1.4 tele-converter from that position.  I was only about 60 feet away and was able to nearly fill the frame.  Exposure was 1/1000 sec. @ f7.1, -0.3EV, ISO 2000.  Spot metering and aperture priority.

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25 thoughts on “Wishin’ for a Wigeon

  1. Beautiful capture Bob! You may have missed my 2/26 post while on your Big Bend excursion (understandable!), I got to shoot an Eurasian wigeon amongst several American wigeons at none other than in the marshy inlet next to a Holiday Inn here locally where I decided to stop to shoot a group of tundra swans. I would not have known the Eurasian wigeon was there if the three birder photographers I found ‘in my spot’ hadn’t told me. They were so excited so I know it was a rare moment to witness. I got a few shots but they weren’t the greatest….but I got ‘em! :-)

    • You are right, Donna, I did miss that post on 2/26. I went back and checked it out. What a cool thing to happen, to see that Eurasian Wigeon. As you said, sometimes you can be in the right place at the right time. Congrats!

  2. Love the Wigeon’s head! so colorful, but that bill steals the show! I looks like a shoe with spats on. Good to know that I’m not the only one who stops on the side of the road for photo opps out the car window. This one is great Bob! ~ L

    • I have been known to also just stop in the middle of a road to get a picture. And even steer with my knees while doing so. Anything to get ths photo. Thanks for the comment, Lynda. :-)

  3. Great photo..the American Wigeon is certainly an unusual marked duck, and I love the pale blue bill. We have them in Pagosa mirgrating through. Thumbs up on the shot.

    • There are so many duck that have unusual markings. One of my favorites, that I have never actually seen, is the Wood Duck. It is on my bucket list to photograph one soon. Thanks for the comment, Syl.

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