Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
American Wigeon - Mareca americana
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General Comments The American Wigeon winters over much of the state and has a distribution like so many other waterfowl species -- most numerous along and near the coast, much less numerous inland, and often rare in the mountains. Wintering habitat is typically lakes and impoundments, less often at ponds and other smaller bodies of fresh water; these waters are usually in open areas, away from forests.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank S5N
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Winter resident. Common to locally very common in the Tidewater and coastal areas south to Dare and Hyde, but only locally fairly common farther south near the coast. Uncommon inland in the province. Mostly early Sep to early Apr. A few summer records of non-breeding birds. Peak counts: 30,683, Mattamuskeet NWR CBC, 29 Dec 2017.
Piedmont Uncommon winter resident, though locally fairly common (but seldom common anywhere), generally in the eastern portion of the province. Seems to have declined somewhat in the past decade, and often missed on CBC's. Early Oct to mid-Apr. Peak counts: 1,022, Pee Dee NWR, 4 Jan 2001.
Mountains Rare winter visitor, mainly at low elevations. Late Oct into Apr. Peak counts:
Finding Tips This species is easier to find than most other dabbling ducks near the coast, though it is still hard to find in many inland counties. Coastal NWR's are excellent sites for the species in fall and winter.
Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-01], LeGrand[2019-07-31], LeGrand[2018-06-09]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.