These are nervous birds, quick to take alarm. Their flight is fast, irregular, with many twists and turns. In a bunched flock, their movements have been compared to those of pigeons.
When open water is handy, wigeon often raft up offshore until late afternoon when they move to marshes and ponds to feed. The white belly and forewing are very showy in the air. Drakes whistle; hens have a loud kaow and a lower qua-awk.