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Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula


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Common Goldeneye, male
credit:  Calibas/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Anatidae, Ducks and Geese view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has mainly black and white plumage. Rounded, peaked head appears dark in poor light, but iridescent green in sunshine. Note beady yellow eye and striking white oval patch at base of bill. Eclipse male resembles an adult female, but retains his more striking white wing pattern. ADULT FEMALE Gray-brown body plumage separated from dark brown head by pale neck. Note beady yellow eye. JUVENILE Similar to adult female, but with dark eye.

Dimensions Length: 16-20" (41-51 cm)

Habitat Common and widespread. In summer, found on wooded lakes, nesting in tree holes. In winter, commonest on coasts, although also found on ice-free inland lakes across region.

Range Plains, Great Lakes, Alaska, Western Canada, Florida, Rocky Mountains, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Southeast, Eastern Canada, New England, California, Texas, Northwest

Voice Displaying male utters squeaky calls. Otherwise silent.

Discussion Robust diving duck. Both sexes are similar to their Barrow's counterpartsósee that species' description for differences. In flight, white on inner upper wings is more extensive in male than female.