Common Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

In the picture you can see a swimming Common Goldeneye in profile. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Anatidae (Ducks, geese and swans)
  • Weight
    710 – 990 g
  • Habitat
    Rivers and lakes near coniferous forests

A life in water

Common goldeneyes are good swimmers and divers. They spend a lot of time in the water in small groups and can dive several metres to the bottom to get food. When diving, they place their wings close to the body and paddle vigorously with their feet. A goldeneye dives around 1.000 times a day. Each dive takes less than half a minute and descends to a depth of two to three metres. In this way, the goldeneye spends half the day under water.

Raising chicks with occasional difficulties

As soon as the female starts breeding, she is left by the male. After about 30 days, the chicks will hatch from blue-green eggs. They are very independent and forage for their own food. The female will stay with her chicks for the fi rst few weeks to protect them. Female goldeneyes are very territorial, which often result in quarrels between two hens. If a chick loses the protection of its mum during such quarrels, he or she will often join the other female hen.

Fascinating fact

The name goldeneye is derived from the bright golden-yellow eyes of the species.