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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 26, 2021

Chiloe Wigeon: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Be amazed by these fascinating facts on the Chiloe wigeon!

The Chiloe wigeon is an extant wigeon species belonging to the Mareca genus. It was previously placed in the Anas genus. The population of this bird is indigenous to South America. Their breeding range includes Chile, Falkland Islands, Brazil, Argentina, and even Uruguay.

For a species of duck bird, this one has a very attractive appearance. These birds have a beautiful lustrous green-blue cap on their head, with males having it more pronounced than females. Males have considerably larger bodies than female ducks.

This species was introduced first to Europe in the year 1870 and then was later bred in the local zoos.

These birds join a small number of waterfowl birds and swim together in the waters. The species has two scientific names - Mareca sibilatrix and Anas sibilatrix. They are known to make whistling sounds while communicating with each other.

For more relatable content, check out these American wigeon facts and crested duck facts for kids.

Chiloe Wigeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Chiloe wigeon?

The Chiloé wigeon/Mareca sibilatrix is a type of dabbling duck.

What class of animal does a Chiloe wigeon belong to?

The southern wigeon belongs to the class Aves.

How many Chiloe wigeons are there in the world?

We are not aware of the total population of the Chiloe wigeon ducks as it has not been recorded yet.

Where does a Chiloe wigeon live?

The Chiloe wigeon range is centered in the southernmost areas of South America. Certain vagrants have been spotted in Shetland Islands, South Orkney, and even South Georgia. It is known to breed in Chile, Argentina, Falkland Islands, and even Uruguay. Migration takes them to southeastern regions of Brazil for the cold days of winter.

What is a Chiloe wigeon's habitat?

These ducks prefer inhabiting freshwater lakes, marshes, slow-moving rivers, and even shallow lagoons.

Who do Chiloe wigeons live with?

These ducks are known to live in loose groups.

How long does a Chiloe wigeon live?

The average lifespan of the Chiloe wigeon ducks is 20-30 years.

How do they reproduce?

Chiloe wigeon ducks follow monogamous relationships. This species breeds in the season of spring. The breeding season occurs mainly between the months of September to December. The Chiloe duck pairs occupy small territories. They build their territories under bushes or in between grasses which are well hidden from predators. The female Chiloe wigeon ducks lay a total of 6-11 eggs in a clutch. These eggs are either cream or white-colored. The gestation period goes on for about 24-25 days, after which the little ducklings are born. Males are involved with raising their little ducklings, However, they walk away from their families once the ducklings molt. However, females handle the incubation duties all alone. Fledging takes place after six weeks.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Chiloé wigeon/Mareca sibilatrix is 'Least Concern'.

Chiloe Wigeon Fun Facts

What do Chiloe wigeons look like?

The duck has a visible luminous blue-green cap on the head. It has a blue-gray bill that ends with a dull black tip. The overall size of the duck is considerably small. The forehead and cheeks are white in color. There is a small white auricular patch present. The irises are a dark brown color. The neck is also dark gray/black-hued. This continues down to the puffed breast which is barred white and black. The plumage of the wigeon’s wings is in shades of gray and white. The flanks of male ducks are rust-tinted, whereas females have it in a light brown hue. Male birds are slightly larger in both body size as well as weight when compared to females. Males also have more prominent iridescence of the cap and a brighter, visible plumage in comparison to females. The young birds are much similar to the adult birds. However, the rust-tinted flanks are either absent or are diminished on the young ones. 

The Chiloe wigeon has its main range in South America.

How cute are they?

We would definitely rate this species as a cute one!

How do they communicate?

When the Mareca sibilatrix species communicate, both sexes lift up their chins and give out a call to each other in means of a whistle.

How big is a Chiloe wigeon?

The body length of the Mareca sibilatrix species is about 18-22 in (45.72-55.88 cm). This duck has a wingspan of about 30-34 in (76.2-86.36 cm). The length of the wing is about 9.8 in (24.892 cm).

This bird is about three times the size of the western bluebird.

How fast can a Chiloe wigeon move?

Sorry, we do not know how fast the Chiloé wigeon moves.

How much does a Chiloe wigeon weigh?

The weight of the Anas sibilatrix species is about 28.22 oz (800 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male ducks are called drakes, whereas female ducks are called hens.

What would you call a baby Chiloe wigeon?

Generally, a baby duck is called a duckling.

What do they eat?

Their diet includes both meat and plant matter. They feed on aquatic plants, coastal algae, grass, plankton, tadpoles, aquatic insects, and crustaceans including shrimps and krills. They can be fed with waterfowl feed as well.

Are they dangerous?

No, the Anas sibilatrix is not a dangerous species.

Would they make a good pet?

We like the idea of keeping the southern wigeon species as a pet!

Did you know...

In its native range, the Chiloé wigeon is locally called the 'pato overo', which also means the 'piebald duck'. Some also call this bird 'pato real', meaning the 'royal duck'. However, pato real is also used to refer to Muscovy duck.

The specific name of these birds, sibilatrix, translates to 'whistler', which is a reference to the call made by these birds.

A small number of waterfowl population who have crossed the Drake Passage join with the southern wigeons and coexist in the habitats.

The Mareca genus have five species in total - Mareca strepera (Gadwall), Mareca falcata (Falcated duck), Mareca penelope (Eurasian wigeon), Mareca americana (American wigeon) and Mareca sibilatrix (Chiloé wigeon).

The Chiloe wigeon's nest

The nest of this species is built in regions having good cover. Hence, they are usually built in a habitat having tall grass or under covers. They may also prefer using a ground-level box or any raised box for rearing the young. A basket or a tunnel nest box may also be opted by this bird species. Usually, they prefer next boxes placed on islands or close to water sources.

Are Chiloe wigeons indigenous?

Yes, these birds are indigenous. Being indigenous means being native or having its population naturally occuring in a small range. The Chiloé wigeon population has its native range in the southern regions of South America.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Arctic tern facts and ring-necked duck facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable duck coloring pages.

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