Male Goldeneye

Goldeneye

Scientific name: Bucephala clangula

Did you know: The Goldeneye, a medium diving duck, first began nesting in the UK in the 1970s, a testament to its adaptive nature.

What Do Goldeneyes Look Like? (How to Identify Them)

Goldeneyes are distinctive ducks, known for their striking plumage and vibrant eyes

Adult males showcase a glossy green head with a unique white patch between their eye and bill, set against a black and white body. 

Females, on the other hand, are greyish-brown with a chocolate brown head and a whitish neck band. Both genders possess bright yellow eyes and black bills.

Differences Between Male And Female Goldeneyes

The most noticeable difference is in their colouration. Males have a bold, black and white pattern with a greenish-black head, while females display a subtler grey-brown plumage

During the breeding season, these differences are more pronounced, with males exhibiting a more vibrant plumage.

What Do Goldeneyes Eat?

The Goldeneyes have a varied diet, primarily consisting of aquatic foods like crustaceans, small fish, molluscs, and insect larvae. They also consume plant matter, particularly in the summer.

Where Do Goldeneyes Live? (Including Migration Info)

Goldeneyes breed primarily in the Scottish Highlands. In winter, they spread across the UK, frequenting rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. These birds are winter visitors from Northern Europe, augmenting the UK’s resident population.

Bird Calls & Songs (The Unique Voices of Goldeneyes)

Goldeneyes communicate through distinct sounds. The males are known for their elaborate courtship displays, often accompanied by distinctive vocalisations that add to the vibrancy of their habitats.

Fun Goldeneye Facts (Kid Friendly)

  • Goldeneyes can dive underwater to find their food.
  • The name ‘Goldeneye’ comes from their striking yellow eyes.
  • They nest in tree hollows or even in nest boxes.
  • Young Goldeneyes can feed themselves soon after hatching.
  • In flight, Goldeneyes show a significant white patch on their inner wings.

Goldeneye Images

Male Goldeneye Male
Female Goldeneye Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Goldeneye

Diet: Mussels, insect larvae, small fish and plants
Bird Family: Ducks, geese and swans
Length: 42-50 cm
Wingspan: 65-80cm
Weight: 650-1200g
Scientific Name: Bucephala clangula

The Goldeneye Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December