Uncommon Goldeneye

The Common Goldeneye, once numerous in the waters surrounding the park, has been a rare sight in recent seasons. This winter, another park visitor reports seeing a few in the vicinity of the Schoolhouse Creek outfall. I personally have only seen three, and more recently just one, off the north shore.

I liked the way that this bird is able to raise and lower its head, exposing more or less of its white fluffy neck.

The one in the video is a female. Its bright yellow eye indicates it’s an adult. Some females, but not all, and not this one, have beaks ending in a yellow tip. At the time that I filmed it, it was keeping company with a female Bufflehead.

Goldeneye perform elaborate courtship and mating rituals in winter and spring. That is, if members of both genders are present. Here so far there’s no sign of a male. But the season is young.

Female Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

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