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American Wigeons

By on March 20, 2017 in News, Ojai Meadows Preserve

Article and Video by Biologist and Author David Lee

Check out the ‘robber ducks’ at the Ojai Meadows Preserve

If you head down to the OVLC’s Ojai Meadows Preserve pond soon, chances are you will see some cool looking ducks with green and white heads. These are male American wigeons – their name is spelled kinda funny and its pronounced like “pigeon.” Wigeons are migratory waterfowl – stopping here in Ojai on their spring migration north to Canada and Alaska.

Wigeons belong to a group of ducks called “dabblers.” As the video shows, dabblers make shallow dives and bob for their underwater salad of aquatic plants. Wigeons prefer open wetlands and marshes, so the Ojai Meadows Preserve makes a great temporary home for them. Sometimes called “robber” or “poacher” ducks, wigeons are known to steal food from American coots and other diving birds. Up north in the grain fields, you can often find wigeons feeding on dry land, eating leftover grain after the harvest. Being relatively common, wigeons are among the ducks most often taken by hunters.

Learn more about wildlife from biologist and author David Lee at


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