Sunday, 28 March 2010

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Adult male Common Goldeneye (subspecies B. c. clangula) at Rutland Water, Rutland - April 2013

OTHER NAMES: Goldeneye, Whistler, Cobhead, American Goldeneye
Local Name (Japan): Hō-jiro-gamo (ホオジロガモ) - "White-cheeked Duck"
Featured Subspecies: Bucephala clangula clangula
Weight: 500-1400g
Length: 40-52cm
Wingspan: 77-83cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Although some birds do breed in Scotland, this is primarily a Winter migrant to most of Britain. The male is a relatively striking bird with the large white spot between it's beak and eye being the easiest way to identify it. Less prominent is the female, which might require slightly more effort to identify as it lacks high contrast plumage, but has a fairly distinct squashed face for a duck.  I found them to be fairly abundant in Hokkaido in particular in Japan, present on the rivers in the Kushiro.

Related Species
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Bucephala

Subspecies: B. c. clangula, B. c. americana

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding species (200 pairs) and widespread Winter visitor (27,000 birds)
 - Birds seen in Winter at Rutland WaterPitsford Reservoir and Ditchford Gravel Pits.
JAPAN - Locally common Winter migrant.
 - TOKYO/HOKKAIDO 2014 TRIP: Common on Hokkaido Coast seen at each of Akkeshi and Kushiro.

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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