Wigeon X Chiloe Wigeon hybrid resembling American Wigeon

Published on 01 April 1968 in Main articles

It has been established that some interspecific hybrids among ducks and geese (Anatidae) strongly resemble one parent or even another species altogether, thus causing problems in field-identification. An extreme case in Britain is the hybrid Pochard Aythya ferina x Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula which can be very difficult to distinguish in the field from the American Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis (Perrins 1961). An example of a hybrid which resemblies one parent is the so-called Paget’s Pochard, the offspring of Pochard x Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, which, in certain plumages (eclipse and transitional males), is virtually indistinguishable from the Ferruginous Duck except on bill characters (Gillham, Harrison and Harrison 1966). Other instances of this kind are provided by the progeny of (Northern) Shoveler Anas clypeata x Teal Anas crecca and (Eurasian) Wigeon Anas pemlope x Northern Shoveler (Harrison 1953, 1959), in which the bimaculated face-patterns can strongly resemble those of the Baikal Teal Anas for mosa. Recently, a comparable phenomenon has been recognised in an intergeneric hybrid among geese, for the Grey Lag Goose Anser anser x Canada Goose Branta canadensis can produce offspring resembling the blue phase of the Lesser Snow Goose Anser c. caerukscens (Harrison and Harrison 1966). Our purpose now is to point out yet another example of a hybrid between two species which resembles a third species to such an extent that misidentification could easily occur in the field. In recent years Eurasian Wigeon have been hybridising with South American Chiloe Wigeon Anas sibilatrix in St. James’s

Click here to download the full article.