Barrow’s Goldeneye

Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) is a medium-sized diving duck that breeds in North America and winters along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California. The adult male has a distinctive black and white plumage with a dark green iridescent head and a white crescent-shaped patch at the base of its bill. The female has a grayish-brown head with a white patch at the base of its bill and a brownish-gray body. Barrow’s Goldeneye measures around 17 to 21 inches in length and has a wingspan of 28 to 31 inches.

The male Barrow’s Goldeneye is easily distinguished from the female by its striking black and white plumage and green head. The black back and white wing patches of the male make it an unmistakable sight in flight, while the female has a more subdued appearance with a brownish-gray body and a white patch on its bill. Both sexes have bright yellow eyes, which add to their distinctiveness.

Barrow’s Goldeneye is a migratory bird that breeds in freshwater lakes and rivers of Alaska and Canada, and winters in coastal areas of the western United States. During the breeding season, they can be found in boreal forests and subarctic tundra habitats, where they build their nests in tree cavities or on the ground near water bodies. In the winter, they form large flocks along rocky coasts and estuaries, where they feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish.

The diet of Barrow’s Goldeneye is varied, and includes aquatic invertebrates, such as insect larvae, snails, and clams, as well as small fish and crustaceans. They dive to forage underwater, and their strong bills help them to pry open shells to access their prey. They are also known to feed on berries, seeds, and other plant material during the breeding season.

Conservation efforts for Barrow’s Goldeneye focus on protecting their breeding and wintering habitats, which are threatened by habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. The species is considered a game bird in some regions, and hunting regulations are in place to ensure sustainable hunting practices. In the wild, Barrow’s Goldeneye can live up to 10 years, and their populations are currently considered stable.

Barrow’s goldeneye

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