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Common goldeneye        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Male common goldeneyes are comical little ducks, especially when displaying for the less colorful females (which have all-brown heads; the bird on this page with a brown head with a white spot is a juvenile male).   Both sexes dive energetically for shellfish.   They breed in northern North America and winter on ponds, lakes, rivers, and coastal ocean areas.   These birds were photographed in Palo Alto, Mountain View,and at the Salton Sea, all in California.  A close relative, the Barrow's goldeneye, is slightly darker, with a teardrop-shaped white face mark and a more angular head on males, and a yellow beak on females.  More common goldeneye pictures here.

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, 1D4, or 7D2; 500 mm IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash on some images (2003, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2020)