Tag Archives: Goldeneye duck

GOLDENEYE EYES

Good Morning Mr. Goldeneye!

How fortunate to see this beautiful male Goldeneye resting in the tide pools. Typically, I see them out at sea and rarely catch a glimpse of their bright orange legs and feet.

Golden Eyes (Bucephala clangulaare cousins of Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola). The genus name Bucephala is derived from the  Ancient Greek boukephalos (“bullheaded”, from bous, “bull ” and kephale, “head”), a reference to the bird’s bulbous head shape. Males of both species deploy ‘look-how-handsome-I-am-with-my-head-puffed-behavior’ during the courtship dance, a feature the females appear to find irresistible. Along the Goldeneye’s coastal wintering grounds they feed mostly on crustaceans, small fish, mollusks, and sea vegetation.

A fun fact about Goldeneyes – the eyes are brownish gray at hatching, then turn purple-blue, then blue, then green-blue as they grow. By five months of age they have become clear pale green-yellow. The eyes eventually become golden yellow in adult males and pale yellow to white in females.