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Common Goldeneye Pair

Common Goldeneye

North Dakota Game Species
Fact Sheet
Scientific Name Bucephala clangula
Wing spread 31 inches
Body length 19 inches
Weight 2.4 pounds
Description The common goldeneye is a large duck.Males have a black head and back with a round white spot between eyes and bill, white chest and belly, and distinctive yellow or gold eyes. Females generally have a mottled brown back, chest and sides; brown head without eye spot, and white belly.Males have a large white shoulder patch, and both sexes have a white speculum.
Nesting Habitat The goldeneye is a cavity nester, but because of its large size it frequently nests where the tops of mature trees have broken off.
Clutch size 9 eggs
Incubation period 30 days
Status in North Dakota An uncommon sight during migration, and rarely nests in North Dakota. Some winter on the Missouri River below Garrison Dam.
Food habits Feeds primarily on crayfish, insects, snails, small clams and, to a lesser extent, aquatic plant seeds and tubers.
Fun Facts The common goldeneye is generally regarded as the last migrant south, and winters across North America as far north as there is open water. Its whistling wings during flight is distinctive.