USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Waterfowl Identification in the Central Flyway

Common Goldeneye (Whistler)

Male - Winter

GIF -- Picture of Male Common Goldeneye-Winter

Body: Medium-sized duck, 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 pounds, 17-20 inches long. Black back contrasts with white belly. Iridescent green head. Eyes gold. Round white spot on cheek. Bill short and black. Feet yellow-orange. Wings: Coverts and speculum form white patch; remainder of wing black. Voice: Piercing speer. In Flight: White on body. Dark head. White on trailing edge of underwings. Fast wingbeat causes distinct whistling sound.

Male - Fall

GIF -- Picture of Male Common Goldeneye-Fall

Ranging from dull gray appearance to blotchy near-winter coloration. Head brownish green. White spot in front of eyes blotched with brown. Eyes, bill, wings and feet same as in winter.

Female - All Seasons

GIF -- Picture of Female Common Goldeneye

Body: Mottled gray over back, chest and sides. Throat and belly white. Brown head lacks white cheek-spot. Bill short and black, occasionally with orangish tip. Feet yellow-orange. Wings: Dark with lesser and middle coverts gray; inner greater coverts and secondaries white. Voice: Low quack.

GIF -- Picture of Common Goldeneyes in Flight

Previous Section -- Bufflehead
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Barrow's Goldeneye

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 20:02:44 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]