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ADULT MALE Has a striking head pattern with green stripe stretching back from eye, creamy white forehead and crown, and speckled gray face and neck. Body plumage is otherwise mainly pinkish buff, except for bold black and white vent. In flight, note striking white patch on upper surface of inner wing.
ADULT FEMALE Has speckled gray head and neck (good for separation from female Eurasian) and otherwise orange-brown, finely marked body plumage, except for white belly. Bill and legs are gray.
JUVENILE Similar to adult female.

Length: 18-23"

Male utters a distinctive three-noted whistle, whi-whee-whew.

Medium-sized dabbling duck. Adult male breeding plumage is distinctive, but separation of other plumages from Eurasian Wigeon is a challenge. American's white axillaries ("armpits") are useful field marks at all times (gray in Eurasian). Feeds on aquatic plants and also grazes grassland.