Common goldeneye

The common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) is a medium-sized sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. Its closest relative is the similar Barrow's goldeneye.[2] The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek boukephalos ("bullheaded", from bous, "bull " and kephale, "head"), a reference to the bulbous head shape of the bufflehead. The species name is derived from the Latin clangere ("to resound").[3]

Common goldeneyes are aggressive and territorial ducks, and have elaborate courtship displays.[2]

Common goldeneye
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)
Adult male
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)- female
Adult female
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Bucephala
B. clangula
Binomial name
Bucephala clangula
  • B. c. clangula (Linnaeus, 1758)

(Eurasian goldeneye)

(American goldeneye)

Bucephala clangula map
  • Anas bucephala Linnaeus, 1758
  • Anas clangula Linnaeus, 1766
  • Clangula clangula (Linnaeus, 1758)
Busephala clangula Pair
Bucephala clangula EM1B9540 (33952163073)
Female goldeneye with chicks


Adult males ranges from 45–51 cm (18–20 in) and weigh approximately 1,000 g (2.2 lb), while females range from 40–50 cm (16–20 in) and weigh approximately 800 g (1.8 lb).[2] The species is named for its golden-yellow eye. Adult males have a dark head with a greenish gloss and a circular white patch below the eye, a dark back and a white neck and belly. Adult females have a brown head and a mostly grey body. Their legs and feet are orange-yellow.

Habitat and breeding

Their breeding habitat is the taiga. They are found in the lakes and rivers of boreal forests across Canada and the northern United States, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and northern Russia. They are migratory and most winter in protected coastal waters or open inland waters at more temperate latitudes.[2] Naturally, they nest in cavities in large trees, where they return year after year,[4] though they will readily use nest boxes as well.[5]

Natural tree cavities chosen for nest sites include those made by broken limbs and those made by large woodpeckers, specifically pileated woodpeckers or black woodpeckers.[6] Average egg size is a breadth of 42.6–44.0 mm (1.68–1.73 in), a length of 58.1–60.6 mm (2.29–2.39 in) and a weight of 61.2–66.6 g (2.16–2.35 oz).[2] The incubation period ranges from 28 to 32 days. The female does all the incubating and is abandoned by the male about 1 to 2 weeks into incubation. The young remain in the nest for about 24–36 hours. Brood parasitism is quite common with other common goldeneyes,[7] and occurs less frequently with other duck species. The broods commonly start to mix with other females' broods as they become more independent or are abandoned by their mothers.[8] Goldeneye young have been known to be competitively killed by other goldeneye mothers, common loons and red-necked grebes.[2] The young are capable of flight at 55–65 days of age.


Common goldeneyes are diving birds that forage underwater. Year-round, about 32% of their prey is crustaceans, 28% is aquatic insects and 10% is molluscs.[9] Insects are the predominant prey while nesting and crustaceans are the predominant prey during migration and winter. Locally, fish eggs and aquatic plants can be important foods. They themselves may fall prey to various hawks, owls and eagles, while females and their broods have been preyed upon by bears (Ursus spp.), various weasels (Mustela spp.), mink (Mustela vison), raccoons (Procyon lotor) and even northern flickers (Colaptes auratus) and red squirrels (Tamiasciurus husonicus).


The common goldeneye is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Approximately 188,300 common goldeneyes were killed annually by duck hunters in North America during the 1970s, representing slightly less than 4% of the total waterfowl killed in Canada during that period, and less than 1% of the total waterfowl killed in the US.[10] Both the breeding and winter habitat of these birds has been degraded by clearance and pollution. However, the common goldeneye in North America is known to derive short-term benefits from lake acidification.[11]

Bucephala clangula MWNH 2013
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden


Bucephala clangula male

Male portrait

Bucephala clangula female

Female portrait

Common Goldeneye with nictitating membrane

just after a dive - showing clear nictitating membrane

Goldeneyes in flight

In flight over Rideau River, Ottawa, Ontario

Common Goldeneye with Northern Crayfish on Seedskadee NWR (24188167270)

With a northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis)


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Bucephala clangula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Eadie, J. M.; Mallory, M. L.; Lumsden, H. G. (1995). "Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)". The Birds of North America Online. doi:10.2173/bna.170.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 79, 110. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Dow, Hilary; Fredga, Sven (1985). "Selection of nest sites by a hole-nesting duck, the Goldeneye Bucephala clangula". Ibis. 127 (1): 16–30. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919x.1985.tb05034.x. ISSN 1474-919X.
  5. ^ Pöysä, H.; Pöysä, S. (2002-06-13). "Nest-site limitation and density dependence of reproductive output in the common goldeneye Bucephala clangula: implications for the management of cavity-nesting birds". Journal of Applied Ecology. 39 (3): 502–510. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2664.2002.00726.x. ISSN 1365-2664.
  6. ^ Baldassarre, Guy A. (2014). Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America. JHU Press. ISBN 9781421407517.
  7. ^ Eriksson, Mats O. G.; Andersson, Malte (1982-03-01). "Nest parasitism and hatching success in a population of Goldeneyes Bucephala clangula". Bird Study. 29 (1): 49–54. doi:10.1080/00063658209476737. ISSN 0006-3657.
  8. ^ Eadie, John McA.; Kehoe, F. Patrick; Nudds, Thomas D. (1988-08-01). "Pre-hatch and post-hatch brood amalgamation in North American Anatidae: a review of hypotheses". Canadian Journal of Zoology. 66 (8): 1709–1721. doi:10.1139/z88-247. ISSN 0008-4301.
  9. ^ Cottam, Clarence (April 1939). Food Habits of North American Diving Ducks (Report). Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture.
  10. ^ "Common Goldeneye Minnesota Conservation Summary" (PDF). Minnesota Audubon. 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  11. ^ Pöysä, Hannu; Rask, Martti; Nummi, Petri (1994). "Acidification and ecological interactions at higher trophic levels in small forest lakes: the perch and the common goldeneye". Annales Zoologici Fennici. 31 (4): 397–404. JSTOR 23735678.

External links

Barrow's goldeneye

Barrow's goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) is a medium-sized sea duck of the genus Bucephala, the goldeneyes. This bird was named after Sir John Barrow. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek boukephalos, "bullheaded", from bous, "bull " and kephale, "head", a reference to the bulbous head shape of the bufflehead. The species name islandica means Iceland.

Becharof National Wildlife Refuge

Becharof National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge in the Aleutian Range of the Alaska Peninsula of southwestern Alaska. It is adjacent to Katmai National Park and Preserve. This national wildlife refuge, which covers an area of 1,200,000 acres (4,900 km2), was established in 1980 to conserve major brown bears, salmon, migratory birds, caribou, marine birds, and mammals and to comply with treaty obligations. It lies primarily in the east-central part of Lake and Peninsula Borough, but extends eastward into the mainland portion of Kodiak Island Borough. The refuge is administered from offices in King Salmon.

Black Moss Reservoirs

Upper and Lower Black Moss Reservoirs are reservoirs close to the village of Barley, in the Borough of Pendle, close to the market town of Burnley, England. The reservoirs provide drinking water to Nelson when needed.

Goldeneye (duck)

Bucephala is a genus of diving ducks found in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek boukephalos, "bullheaded", from bous "bull", and kephale, "head", a reference to the crest of the bufflehead making its head look large.The bufflehead was formerly treated as the only member of the genus (sometimes unnecessarily changed to Charitonetta) while the goldeneyes were incorrectly placed in Clangula (as Clangula americana), the genus of the long-tailed duck, which at that time was placed in Harelda. It may yet be correct to recognise two genera, as the bufflehead and the two goldeneyes are well diverged. In this case, Bucephala would be restricted to B. albeola and the name Glaucionetta (Stejneger, 1885) resurrected for the goldeneyes.

List of birds of the District of Columbia

This is a list of birds of the District of Columbia. (A) means bird species is rare or accidental, and (I) means introduced.

List of birds of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

This is a list of birds of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. (A) means bird species is accidental / rare.

The Wake Island rail was a species endemic to Wake Island, but it is now extinct. The Laysan duck is endemic to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (which includes Midway Atoll — Midway Atoll is part of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, not the state of Hawaii). The endemic and critically-endangered Nihoa finch was extirpated from Midway Atoll.

Because the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands is a statistical area with no organized government, it has no official bird (unlike the states and four out of five of the inhabited territories).

Llyn Alaw

Llyn Alaw (English: Lily Lake) is a man-made reservoir on Anglesey, North Wales managed by Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water. It is a shallow lake and was built in 1966. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a destination for over-wintering birds.


The seaducks (Mergini) are a tribe of the duck subfamily of birds, the Anatinae. The taxonomy of this group is incomplete. Some authorities separate the group as a subfamily, others remove some genera from the group and keep others. Most species within the group spend their winters near coastal waters. Many species have developed specialized salt glands to allow them to tolerate salt water but these are poorly developed in juveniles. Some of the species prefer riverine habitats. All but two of the 20 species in this group live in far northern latitudes.

The fish-eating members of this group, such as the mergansers and smew, have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey and are often known as "sawbills". Other seaducks forage by diving underwater, taking molluscs or crustaceans from the sea floor. The Mergini take on the eclipse plumage during the late summer and molt into their breeding plumage during the winter.

Nictitating membrane

The nictitating membrane (from Latin nictare, to blink) is a transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye from the medial canthus for protection and to moisten it while maintaining vision. Some reptiles, birds, and sharks have full nictitating membranes; in many mammals, a small, vestigial portion of the membrane remains in the corner of the eye. Some mammals, such as camels, polar bears, seals and aardvarks, have full nictitating membranes. Often called a third eyelid or haw, it may be referred to in scientific terminology as the plica semilunaris, membrana nictitans, or palpebra tertia.

Peche Island

Peche Island (French pronunciation anglicized to , therefore occasionally misspelled "Peach"), is an uninhabited, currently 86-acre (35 ha) (reduced by erosion from a 1965 measurement of 109 acres / 43.7 ha) Canadian-owned island in the Detroit River, at its opening into Lake Saint Clair. It is 1.2 miles (1.9 km) east of U.S.-owned Belle Isle, and 360 yards (330 m) from the Windsor shore.

The island was formed from a peninsula of the Canadian shore by the action of the Detroit River. There is a central marsh on the island. The present channel was eroded until the core of the island remained. There are man-made channels cut through the island to ensure fresh water supply and recreational opportunities. The island's flora and fauna have been heavily affected by human activity, and the forest is the result of a rehabilitation programme.

Formerly an Ontario provincial park, ownership was transferred to the City of Windsor in 1999. The Detroit River passes 200 yards (183 m) off its northern shore and daily 1,000-foot-long (300 m) ships pass.

The island offers attractive Detroit city views, a wide sandy beach and shallow river bottom, and is a favorite with summer boaters. As of June 27th 2018, the City of Windsor began to run a ferry service to the island for day trips. Tours operate Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, from June to October. Boaters, canoers and kayakers can enjoy the island's trails and beaches and approximately 2.5 miles (4 km) of canals. The park is open only during the day. Sailors are advised to anchor along the southern shore of the island, abeam the Windsor Yacht Club. Speed between red buoy DP2 west of Peche Island and green buoy DP5 east of Peche Island must be held below 5 knots (9 km/h). For kayakers, the circumnavigation distance is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km).

From November through March large numbers of waterfowl, especially canvasback, redhead, lesser scaup, common goldeneye and common merganser, are all found in the nearby waters. Peregrine falcons and bald eagles are often attracted by these large flocks and can sometimes be seen perched in the island's larger treetops, or in the nesting platforms constructed by the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club. Muskie and walleye, bigmouth bass, bluegill and perch are found in the waters surrounding the island, and fishing pressures are reported low. Water quality is good, and carefully monitored, as the City of Windsor's supply is drawn from nearby. Peche Island is one of the few places where the rare blue ash tree (Fraxinus quadrangulata) can be found.

Right and Left

Right and Left is a 1909 oil on canvas painting by the American artist Winslow Homer. It depicts a pair of common goldeneye ducks at the moment they are hit by a hunter's shotgun blast as they attempt to take flight. Completed less than two years before his death, it was Homer's last great painting, and has been the subject of a variety of interpretations regarding its origin, composition and meaning. As with his other late masterworks, it represents a return to the sporting and hunting subjects of Homer's earlier years, and was to be his final engagement with the theme. Its design recalls that of Japanese art, and the composition resembles that of a colored engraving by John James Audubon.

Sea Duck Joint Venture

The Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) is a conservation partnership established in 1998 whose mission is "promoting the conservation of North America’s Sea Ducks". The partners are the Canadian Wildlife Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the United States Geological Survey, Ducks Unlimited, Bird Studies Canada, the Pacific Flyway Council, and the council for U.S. Flyways. It is one of three species joint ventures operating within the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

The partnership studies 15 species of sea ducks: Barrow's goldeneye, black scoter, bufflehead, common eider, common goldeneye, common merganser, harlequin duck, hooded merganser, king eider, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, spectacled eider, Steller's eider, surf scoter, and white-winged scoter. These represent one third of all waterfowl species in North America. Four of these species are threatened in some of their habitats: the harlequin duck in eastern Canada, the Barrow's goldeneye in eastern Canada and Maine, and the spectacled eider and Steller's eider in the United States.Four primary factors were identified for the declining populations of sea ducks in North America: "lack of knowledge about their ecology, contaminants, unsustainable hunting, and habitat loss and degradation". Activities such as "logging, fuel-wood harvesting, and land developments" have resulted in loss of breeding habitats for cavity-nesting sea ducks, particularly the mergansers, goldeneyes, and buffleheads. Habitat loss includes the effects of coastal development, resource exploration and development, use of waterways for shipping, and other large-scale environmental changes. Contamination results from oil spills and the discharge of heavy metals into the water system.


The smew (Mergellus albellus) is a species of duck, and is the only living member of the genus Mergellus. Mergellus is a diminutive of Mergus and albellus is from Latin albus "white". This genus is closely related to Mergus and is sometimes included in it, though it might be closer to the goldeneyes (Bucephala). The smew has hybridized with the common goldeneye (B. clangula).A seaduck fossil from the Middle Miocene shows that birds similar to smew existed up to 13 million years ago. The extant species dates back to the Late Pleistocene.


Sotkamo is a municipality of Finland, located in the Kainuu region.

Vuokatti, west of Sotkamo, is a popular skiing resort. The Hiidenportti National Park is located in the municipality.

In sports, Sotkamo is known for its Finnish baseball team, Sotkamon Jymy.

One of the major landmarks of Sotkamo is the sandy beach of Hiukka, which locates by the lake Iso Sapsojärvi, just beside the Sotkamo center. In Vuokatti ski center you can find the lake Nuasjärvi and the Vuokatti Hill.

Tysjöarna Nature Reserve

Tysjöarna Nature Reserve (Swedish: Tysjöarnas naturreservat) is a nature reserve in Jämtland County in Sweden. It is part of the EU-wide Natura 2000-network.

The nature reserve is an important resting area for migrating birds. Three towers for birdwatching have been built in the area. Species that are known to be found in Tysjöarna Nature Reserve include whooper swan, common crane, tufted duck, common goldeneye, little gull, northern lapwing and common redshank.


Tyzzeria is a genus of parasitic alveolates that with one exception (Tyzzeria boae) infect the cells of the small intestine.


Uuemaarahu is a small, Baltic Sea islet comprising 0.0234 hectares belonging to the country of Estonia.

Uuemaarahu lies 1 kilometer to the southeast of the island of Hellamaa in the Väinameri Strait. It belongs to the administrative municipality of Pühalepa Parish, Hiiu County (Estonian: Hiiu maakond) and is part of the Hiiumaa Islet Landscape Reserve. Other islands nearby include Uuemererahu, Kadakalaid, Ramsi, Hõralaid and Vohilaid.

The islet is an important moulting area for an abundant variety of birds such as: the mute swan, the great black-backed gull, the common gull, the oystercatcher, the Arctic tern, the common eider, the greylag goose, the common goldeneye, the mallard, the goosander, the ruff, the black-tailed godwit, and the barnacle goose.

Wraysbury No 1 Gravel Pit

Wraysbury No 1 Gravel Pit is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) based in Wraysbury, Berkshire. The site is a lowland lake.

Wraysbury and Hythe End Gravel Pits

Wraysbury and Hythe End Gravel Pits is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) based in Wraysbury,Berkshire. The site is important for the number of bird species it features.

Game animals and shooting in the United Kingdom
Game birds
Quarry species
Other quarry
See also


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