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Goldeneye Ducks

Identify It >  Birds >   Goldeneye Ducks >

Scientific name:  Bucephala clangula

Size:  Approx 45 - 50cm

Distribution:  Found in most parts of the UK in winter, and in the Highlands of Scotland during the summer

Months seen:  All year round in parts of Scotland, October to April for the rest of the UK

Life Span: Up to 12 years, more typically 6 years (source BTO)

Habitat:  Lakes, reservoirs, estuaries and coastal areas

Food:  Aquatic insects and crustaceans

Special features:  Although Goldeneye ducks are resident in parts of Scotland, the majority of Goldeneyes are winter visitors from Russia and Scandinavia.

The females have a grey body, white neck and brown head.  The males have a white body, black back and green head.  The males also have a circular white patch between their golden eye and their short, black bill.  They make a distinctive whistling noise as they fly.

Male Goldeneye Ducks put on an entertaining courtship display for the females in late winter where they throw their heads back and sometimes make a faint call.  Goldeneye ducks nest in trees close to water.

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