Common Goldeneye

(Whistle-Wing, Whistler, Greathead, Garrot)

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Bucephala
Species: clangula

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance

Gr. bous ox
iGr. kephale head
Gr. boukephalos bull-headed, large-headed
La. clangere to resound (whistling wings)

Painting of common goldeneyes perched on an iced over lake.
About twenty inches long. Large black head and black back with iridescent green tinge. The remainder is white. A white patch on each side between the eyes and the bill.
USGS map shows common goldeneyes inhabit the northern regions throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Goldeneyes inhabit the northern regions throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The Common Goldeneye nests in the northern U.S., southern Alaska and most of Canada and winters throughout Canada and as far south as California, Texas, Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. In Europe, Goldeneyes migrate south passing through Switzerland to Italy.

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.

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

Excellent swimmers, spending most of their time in the water except to nest when their poor walking abilities are revealed. They look comical, walking in a jerky motion slapping their huge webbed feet their wings extended often falling over if hurried.

Painting of Common Goldeneyes in typical Audubon bird contortions.
Makes nests of grass, leaves and moss, lined with down in deep cavities of decaying trees near rivers and fresh water lakes.

Lays six to twelve ashy green 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 Common Goldeneye Nest Box has a 12″ by 12″ floor, 22″ inside floor to ceiling, 5″ wide by 4″ high entrance hole located 19″ above the floor (to the top of the hole) and ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

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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Common Goldeneye

(Whistle-Wing, Whistler, Greathead, Garrot)

Painting of common goldeneyes perched on an iced over lake.
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Bucephala
Species: clangula

La. anser goose
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. anous foolish
La. anas duck
La. –idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. bous ox
Gr. kephale head
iGr. boukephalos bull-headed, large-headed
La. clangere to resound (whistling wings)

About twenty inches long. Large black head and black back with iridescent green tinge. The remainder is white. A white patch on each side between the eyes and the bill.

USGS map shows common goldeneyes inhabit the northern regions throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Goldeneyes inhabit the northern regions throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The Common Goldeneye nests in the northern U.S., southern Alaska and most of Canada and winters throughout Canada and as far south as California, Texas, Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. In Europe, Goldeneyes migrate south passing through Switzerland to Italy.

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.

Painting of Common Goldeneyes in typical Audubon bird contortions.
Dives for fish, frogs, shell fish and tender plant roots and seeds. Also eats insects.

Excellent swimmers, spending most of their time in the water except to nest when their poor walking abilities are revealed. They look comical, walking in a jerky motion slapping their huge webbed feet their wings extended often falling over if hurried.

Makes nests of grass, leaves and moss, lined with down in deep cavities of decaying trees near rivers and fresh water lakes.

Lays six to twelve ashy green 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 Common Goldeneye Nest Box has a 12″ by 12″ floor, 22″ inside floor to ceiling, 5″ wide by 4″ high entrance hole located 19″ above the floor (to the top of the hole) and ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Select to view or print common goldeneye nest box 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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