Anas penelope


A common dabbling duck, the Wigeon is a winter visitor that gathers in large numbers, particularly on wet grasslands, flood meadows and flooded gravel pits and reservoirs with gently sloping edges where they can easily get out onto the grassy banks. Wigeon can be spotted in winter dabbling in close-knit groups or flying in tight formations over wetlands.

How to identify

The Wigeon is a medium-sized duck with a round head and short bill. Males are grey with a pink breast, orange head, yellow forehead and obvious white wing patches which show when they fly. Females are similar to Mallard females but with rusty brown plumage and a pointed tail.

Where to find it

Found in the winter throughout the country.


When to find it

  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March

How can people help

The large numbers of visiting Wigeon that frequent just a few sites in the UK make this species an Amber List bird. To ensure that we keep the populations of these colourful ducks, and others like them, healthy, it is important that wetland habitats are managed properly. The Wildlife Trusts are working with other organisations and individuals to create a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats stretching across town and country, allowing wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Anas penelope
Length: 43-48cm Wingspan: 80cm Weight: 650-800g Average Lifespan: 3 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.