Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Bucephala / Species
< >  Bucephala clangula - Common goldeneye (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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(Waterfowl)

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Goldeneye
Whistler
Schellente (German)
Garrot à oeil d’or (French)
Garrot ordinaire (French)
Porrón osculado (Spanish)
Pato ojos común (Spanish)
Brilduiker (Dutch)
Knipa (Swedish)
Bucephala clangula clangula European goldeneye
Bucephala clangula americana American goldeneye
Glaucionetta clangula
Clangula glaucion

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

Eclipse

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B6, B8, B19, B25, B26, B27.

Other references:
B138

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B96, B97, B108, B129
D1, D8

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General information:
  • Seaducks are generally winter-hardy and sociable. They are preferably kept on a large area of clean, cold, deep water, at least some of which (preferably half the area) should be more than 60cm and preferably more than1m deep. As with other diving ducks, most species are relatively ungainly on land and ponds should have shallow sloping banks. Some cover along the pond edges will generally be appreciated. Preferred nesting sites vary greatly within this group, from open ground nesting to thick vegetation and tree holes.
  • Diets of grain, pellets fish and seafood may be used, also bread. These ducks generally need a higher-protein diet than most waterfowl species and high-protein pelleted diets specifically designed for seaducks are now available, although supplementation with fish may still be important particularly for breeding.
  • Feeding in troughs containing stones may avoid the development of overgrown bills. Provision of salt water may decrease the incidence of fungal and other infections.
  • Ducklings may be given high-protein starter crumbs and live food, and provided with access to deep water for swimming from an early age.

(B7, B29, B40, B94, B129, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Common goldeneye are winter-hardy; a large area of deep (80 cm plus), cold, clear and preferably running water is important, and ice-free water should be available in winter. They are generally considered sociable, although drakes may fight with each other in breeding season, and can be aggressive to other ducks on small ponds while breeding. Mixtures of pellets (including trout pellets) and insectivorous diet as well as grain, fish, meal worms, duckweed has been recommended previously in the absence of specialised diets.
  • These ducks are fairly easy to breed, breeding regularly in some collections. Seclusion and both ground-level and raised nest boxes should be provided; raised boxes overhanging water are preferred. Laying may occur: from mid-March , often with a second clutch if the first is removed (B31); March to May (European goldeneye), April to May (American goldeneye) (B29); usually May (European goldeneye)(B108).
  • Hand rearing of the ducklings is suggested, preferably in groups, with access to water. Ducklings are delicate and easily stressed; daphnia, mealworms and other live food suggested for initial rearing of ducklings, as well as duckweed and rearing food .
  • Hybrids have been reported with mergansers and diving ducks (B31); with Mergus serrator - Red-breasted merganser, other Mergus species, Aix sponsa - Wood duck Aythya spp. and Melanitta fusca - White-winged scoter (B97).

(B29, B30, B31, B94, B96, B97, B108)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average ring size: L11.0mm (D8).

Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 16-20 inches 40-51cm (B3); 42-50cm (B1).
Adult weight General 770-996g (B1).
Male Average about 1000g (B3)
Female Average about 800g (B3).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Black.
Variations (If present) Female: black with yellow towards tip.
Eyes (Iris) Male Yellow
Variations(If present) Female: Yellow, paler than male
Juvenile Bill Brownish.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Yellow.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Yellow.

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Plumage

Adult Male Head glossy green-black, with white oval between eye and bill. Neck, breast, abdomen, flanks white. Tail, tailcoverts, rump and vent area black (outer tail feathers grey). Upperparts white with elongated black and white scapulars forming series white and black along sides.

Wing black with white patch: black primaries, primary coverts, tertials and leading edge, white secondaries, greater and median coverts.

Variations (If present) Female: head dark brown, white collar, otherwise grey-brown with centre of abdomen white, upperparts darker. Wing blackish except most of secondaries white, most of greater coverts white with black tips, median coverts upper row white, lower row black (pattern from leading edge: black, white, black, white, black, white). Duller in summer.

Eclipse: Similar to female but retains wing pattern.

Juvenile Similar to female but duller with greyer head and no white collar.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: upperparts and upper breast dark brown, face below eyes, throat and underparts white, white spots on wings, rump and flanks, legs yellowish

Bill: brownish.
Feet: yellowish.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins April/May.
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

In tree hollows (readily accept nest boxes), down-lining

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 8-11 (B1)
Range 5-13 (B1)
Egg Description Pale green/bluish/greyish.

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Incubation

29-30 days (B1); 27-32 days (B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

57-66 days (B1); 55-68 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Two years old.
Females Two years old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dive, occasionally dabble and upend in the shallows.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female.
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Tended by female, brooded at night when small.
Juveniles

Independent before fledging.

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious except when breeding.
Inter-specific Sometimes found with Bucephala islandica - Barrow's goldeneye outside breeding season , and occasionally hybridise (B25). Compete with various species for nest holes (B8).

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Sexual Behaviour

Seasonal monogamous pair bond.

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Predation in Wild

--

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Activity Patterns

--
Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

Insects (midge and caddis fly larvae) important in summer, also fresh-water mussels, frogs, tadpoles; molluscs and crustaceans in winter; aquatic plants (seeds, roots, green parts) eaten mostly in autumn (fall).

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Newly-hatched

--

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Bucephala clangula clangula Northern and central Europe (Norway, Sweden, northern Finland, Germany, Poland, British Isles, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania) eastward across Asia through former USSR and northern Mongolia to Kamchatka.
  • London: In the London Area, "common winter visitor, occasional summer records." Peak counts at some locations number tens to more than 100 (e.g. Staines Reservoir in 2000). (J322.65.w1)

Migrates to winter in coastal waters and on lakes from south-west Iceland to northern coasts of Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas, also Asia.

Bucephala clangula americana North America from Alaska to Labrador. Winters from Aleutian islands Canadian border and Gulf of St Lawrence to Californian Gulf, Mexican Gulf, Georgia south to Florida.

Occasional and Accidental

Vagrants to Azores, Morocco, Algeria, Malta, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, northern India, Nepal, Burma, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Greenland, Faeroes.

Introduced

--

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Habitat

Breeding: freshwater lakes, pools, and rivers, mainly in coniferous forest. Otherwise coastal bays, lagoons and estuaries, inland waters to moult.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

Bucephala clangula clangula European goldeneye
Bucephala clangula americana American goldeneye

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Abundant (B1).

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 1 - Part 2 (Birds protected by special penalties: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds and their eggs protected by special penalties during the close season, 1 February to 31 August (21 February to 31 August below high water mark) but which may be killed or taken at other times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 2 - Part I (Birds which may be killed or taken outside the close season, 1 February to 31 August except where indicated otherwise: Notes on the revised schedules state "NOTE: The close season for ducks and geese when below high water mark is 21 February to 31 August") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats Oil; Contaminated food near sewer outlets (B8).

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Captive Populations

Well established in collections (B8).

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Trade

--

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