Bucephala islandica
(Barrow's Goldeneye)

Order: Anseriformes
Order Description: Swans, Geese, Ducks
Family: Anatidae
Family Description: Swans, Geese and Ducks

Physical Description:
16 1/2-20" (42-51 cm). White crescent in front of eye on a glossy purple-black head; low, abrupt forehead sloping down to a black bill; back and sides black; neck and breast white; wings black with a line of white patches. Female has a brown head, grayish body and wings, white collar, and yellow bill with a dark tip.

Similar Species- Common Goldeneye

Rapid whinny produced by wings in flight.

Breeds from southeastern Alaska, east through parts of western Canada, and south to eastern Washington, southwestern Oregon, eastern California, northern Montana, and northwestern Wyoming. Also breeds in eastern Canada. Winters from southern Alaska, south along coast to central California, and locally from southern British Columbia and northern Montana, south to southwestern Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Also winters along East Coast.

Winters on lakes, rivers, estuaries, and bays. Frequently winters along Snake River in southern Idaho. In central Idaho, prefers mountain lakes for breeding.

In inland areas during summer and fall, feeds on aquatic insects, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Along coastal wintering grounds, feeds largely on crustaceans, mollusks, small fishes, and some plant material.

Nests in tree cavity near water; may nest on cliff. Intraspecific nest parasitismClick word for definition is common. Dives underwater to obtain food. Usually found in small, scattered groups in summer; found in large flocks in winter. Uncommon breeder in Idaho.

clutchClick word for definition size varies from 6-15 eggs (usually 10-13). Female incubatesClick word for definition eggs; incubation lasts about 30 days. In British Columbia, mean hatching date is mid- to late June. Nestlings are precocialClick word for definition and downy. Adult pair bond may last more than 1 yr.

Element Code: ABNJB18020
Status: Game species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
Schultz, G.A. 1978. Barrow's Goldeneyes nesting in central Idaho. Murrelet 59:107- 108.

Original images provided by Jeff Spendelow,© 1999
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.