Two weeks ago I filmed a Common Goldeneye female and noted that there was no male around, “but the season is young.” Now photographer James Kusz has validated that optimism with this photo of a Common Goldeneye male in all its iridescent splendor.
Goldeneye usually nest in holes high up in trees in the northern forests. When the chicks are just a day old, the mother glides out of the nest to the ground and calls to her chicks to follow. They cannot fly yet, but they make the jump and land with a bounce. There are at least two amazing videos on YouTube of this event, one here with natural sounds, the other here with a music soundtrack. So when I look at a Goldeneye, I know that they absolutely trusted their mother and that shortly after birth they survived a death leap.