I love the descriptions used in bird guides. In one, we are told that “the female American Wigeon is best distinguished by her vinaceous sides.” “Vinaceous” means “wine-coloured”.
Another says that the female has a “plain gray-brown head with a smudge around the eye.”
Males are identified by “the white, or cream-coloured, crown above the dark green sides of the head.”
Look also for the “small gray bill, usually angled down and round head.”
We had several at a rainy Col. Sam Smith Park this morning.
Here is a wonderful article about Marie Curtis Park including the military history.
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood. – John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92)