Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Goldeneye
(Common Goldeneye, American Goldeneye, European Goldeneye, Goldeneyed Duck, Brass-Eyed Whistler, Brasseye, Bull-Head, Cobhead, Common Goldeneye Whistler, Copperhead, Cub-Head, Garrot, Great-Head, Iron-Head, Jingler, Merry-Wing, Sizzle-Britches, Spirit Duck, Whiffler, Whistle-Duck, Whistle-Wing, Whistler)
Gaelic: Lach a'chinn uaine
Photography © Suzanne Harris
Loch Tiumpan - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
19th December, 2007
"A drake bird. Tufted duck, Wigeon and Teal were also present"
- Goldeneye (Common Goldeneye, American Goldeneye, European Goldeneye, Goldeneyed Duck, Brass-Eyed Whistler, Brasseye, Bull-Head, Cobhead, Common Goldeneye Whistler, Copperhead, Cub-Head, Garrot, Great-Head, Iron-Head, Jingler, Merry-Wing, Sizzle-Britches, Spirit Duck, Whiffler, Whistle-Duck, Whistle-Wing, Whistler))
- Bucephala clangula
- Gaelic: Lach a'chinn uaine
- UK: Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
- UK: AMBER LIST. 200 pairs (summer), (32,000 winter) RSPB
- WI: Uncommon Winter Visitor (recorded in low numbers each year)
- Breeds: Europe (inc Scotland), Asia, North America, Canada, Northern Russia
- Winters: Aug - March birds from North Europe visit UK. Mediterranean, South China, USA
- Habitat: Lakes, rivers, forests (migration protected seacoasts & open inland water)
- Diet: Diving to 4m underwater to forage: crustaceans, molluscs, fish eggs, plants (summer insects)
- Med size sea duck (16-21in). Male dark back. White neck & belly. Head dark & greenish. Circular white patch below yellow eye. Female smaller with mottled grey body & chocolate brown head. Flight shows large white area on inner wing
- Average age 7yrs, Max recorded 11yrs
- Listen to a Goldeneye (RSPB site)
- Similar birds: Smew (rare here), Goosesander (fairly rare), Bufflehead (very rare)
Goldeneye nest in large holes in trees. The first UK breeding record was in Scotland in 1970. Since then nestboxes have been put in trees by water and this has successfully encouraged some of the winter visitors to stay.
In North America approximately 4% of the local goldeneye population is killed annually by duckhunters.
Goldeneye records in the Western Isles
Uncommon Winter Visitor (recorded in low numbers each year).
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)
On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Goldeneye is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Goldeneye prefer moorland lochs, usually inland ones
Male or female ducks and their collective nouns
Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.
|Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
|waterfowl (on water)
||A bunch of waterfowl
|waterfowl (less than 30)
||A paddling of ducks
|ducks, idle in water
||A raft of ducks
||A dopping of ducks
|ducks, on ground
||A badelynge of ducks
||A flight, plump, or team of ducks
||A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section