Barrow’s Goldeneye

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Species: sponsa

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. aix water bird
La. sponsa bride

Barrow's goldeneye with two common goldeneyes in the background in water.
About twenty inches long. Dark purple iridescent head and throat. Black back. White breast and underside. White wing coverts and additional irregular spots. White crescent moon-shaped spot on each side of the head between the bill and the eyes.
USGS map shows Barrow's goldeneyes breed in the far north - Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland. Some mountains further south.
Breeds in the far north – Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland, the furthest south being in the mountains of Wyoming and Oregon, in the east as far south as the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Winters as far south as California, New Mexico, the Great Lakes region and Massachusetts.
Dives for fish, frogs, shell fish and tender plant roots and seeds. Also eats insects.

Tolerates cold weather well being driven only by frozen water. Migrates in small flocks sometimes with other duck species. Wings produce a rhythmic whistling in flight; otherwise a silent bird.

Builds nests of fine twigs and moss lined with down in decaying tree or stump hollows, or in rock crevices near water.

Lays six to ten pale bluish eggs which hatch after about a month of incubation. Ducklings are led to water at a very young age and fly at about two months age.

The Barrow’s Goldeneye Owl Nest Box (same as for Kestrel and Screech Owls) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Above all, please do not attract duck families and leave them vulnerable to predators. Significant reduction in predation has been achieved through proper location, installation and use of cone predator guards. 

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Barrow’s Goldeneye

Barrow's goldeneye with two common goldeneyes in the background in water.
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Species: sponsa

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. aix water bird
La. sponsa bride

About twenty inches long. Dark purple iridescent head and throat. Black back. White breast and underside. White wing coverts and additional irregular spots. White crescent moon-shaped spot on each side of the head between the bill and the eyes.
USGS map shows Barrow's goldeneyes breed in the far north - Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland. Some mountains further south.
Breeds in the far north – Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland, the furthest south being in the mountains of Wyoming and Oregon, in the east as far south as the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Winters as far south as California, New Mexico, the Great Lakes region and Massachusetts.

Dives for fish, frogs, shell fish and tender plant roots and seeds. Also eats insects.

Tolerates cold weather well being driven only by frozen water. Migrates in small flocks sometimes with other duck species. Wings produce a rhythmic whistling in flight; otherwise a silent bird.

Builds nests of fine twigs and moss lined with down in decaying tree or stump hollows, or in rock crevices near water.

Lays six to ten pale bluish eggs which hatch after about a month of incubation. Ducklings are led to water at a very young age and fly at about two months age.

The Barrow’s Goldeneye Owl Nest Box (same as for Kestrel and Screech Owls) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Select to view or print Barrow's goldeneye birdhouse plans.

Please do not attract duck families and leave them vulnerable to predators. Significant reduction in predation has been achieved through proper location, installation and use of cone predator guards.

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