The Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) is a medium-sized diving duck that belongs to the family Anatidae. These ducks breed in North America, Europe, and Asia during the spring and summer. During this season, they migrate to their breeding grounds which are located near freshwater sources such as lakes, ponds, and rivers.
The fascinating appearance of the Common Goldeneye can be recognized by its black and white plumage, golden-yellow eyes, and a large round head. The males are typically larger than the females and have a distinctive green head that sparkles in the sunlight. The females are darker and have a brownish-gray head.
The Common Goldeneye is known for its exceptional diving skills and can swim to depths of up to 60 feet below the surface. They dive in search of food, which typically includes crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.
During the breeding season, the males engage in courtship rituals such as head-tossing, wing-flapping, and bowing to attract females. The females nest in tree cavities, often located near water. They lay about 5-9 eggs which they incubate for roughly one month. After the eggs hatch, the ducklings immediately jump from the nest and swim with their mother until they are able to fend for themselves.
In the winter, the Common Goldeneye migrates to their wintering grounds along the coasts and large bodies of water. During this time, they can be seen in large flocks feeding and socializing with other diving ducks.
The conservation status of the Common Goldeneye is of 'Least Concern' according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, threats such as hunting, habitat loss, and pollution can still affect their populations. The protection of nesting habitats, laws regulating hunting, and the conservation of clean water are important measures for the preservation of this captivating bird.