Breeding Bird Atlas 2 Additional Accounts


American Wigeon

Anas americana

On the western side of the continent, the American Wigeon breeds in abundance, but such has never been the case in Massachusetts. Despite this fact this species has not been a stranger to the state. At the beginning of the twentieth century, birdwatchers across Massachusetts termed the “baldpate” as being at least a regular migrant. Hunters knew where to find them though, and historic works on the birds of Massachusetts share a number of gunning stories but not abundance reports. Over time, Martha’s Vineyard became a favored haunt of the American Wigeon. In 1910, approximately 500 individuals were utilizing the ponds of the island, and by 1922 that number had doubled. By the end of that decade, their numbers had increased even more. Breeding, however, was not recorded in the state until 1972 on Penikese Island. That single record stood through the period of the first Atlas, but in 1981 and 1983, additional single breeding records emerged. During Atlas 2, 3 blocks reported Possible breeding, but the species was nowhere Confirmed as a breeder.