Bucephala islandica

Common Names: Barrow's goldeneye
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Ducks, Geese, & Swans

Adults are similar in appearance to the common goldeneye. Adult males have a dark head with a purplish gloss and a white crescent at the front of the face. Adult females have a yellow bill. The male Barrow's goldeneye differs from the male common goldeneye in the fact that the common goldeneye has a round white patches on the face, less black on the back of the bird, and a larger bill. For the females, the common goldeneye has a less rounded head, and a bill in which only the tip is yellow.

Their breeding habitat is wooded lakes and ponds. Females return to the same breeding sites year after year and also tend to use the same nesting sites. The males stay with their mate through the winter and defend their territory during the breeding season, then leave for the molting site. Mating pairs often stay intact even though the male and female are apart for long periods of time over the summer during molting times. The pair then reunites at wintering areas.

Edible Notes: Like most other ducks they are edible. While the flavor is not highly regarded, there are a few recipes found online. Farm-raised domestic duck is commonly available in supermarkets in Connecticut and is a good alternative. Duck meat (domestic) is a common dish in Asian restaurants, especially Thai cuisine.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings