[mou] Eurasian Wigeon Debate

rdunlap at gustavus.edu rdunlap at gustavus.edu
Wed Nov 5 23:02:17 CST 2008


Ben Fritchman's post earlier today questioning the identification of  
the Eurasian Wigeon is completely acceptable, particularly because  
this is a species that is known to hybridize with American Wigeon and  
because such hybrids have been seen in Minnesota in past years. Yes,  
Ben was not there, and thus he does not have first hand experience  
with this individual, but he was simply trying to create a  
constructive discussion on the bird's identity.

As far as I can tell, many birders have already gone to see the bird,  
and thus the correct response to such an inquiry as Ben's would be  
something like the following: "I saw the bird, and the dark stripe  
behind the eye in the photo is most likely due to poor lighting  
because in good light the face appeared uniform orange-red in color."  
Or, "I did see a dark area behind the eye in good lighting, suggesting  
the bird is a hybrid." YOU were in the field, so tell us what YOU saw  
if such an inquiry arises.

And, as Ben correctly stated, it is up to MOURC to decide the identity  
of all casual and accidental species. As a casual species, then, this  
bird will accordingly go before the committee, regardless of any  
discussions on MOU-net. If you saw the bird, and think it is a pure  
Eurasian Wigeon, then please document it as such to the best of your  
ability so that MOURC has evidence with which to work to support your  

Bob Dunlap, Nicollet County

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