Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye - Bucephala clangula

Goldeneyes are one of the few birds who overwinter in the Calgary area, so they are regular sightings on my winter walks in Griffith Woods. 
In the spring, the males compete for females with a neck thrusting and bending courtship display. The male extends the neck and head straight up, often calling at the apex of this stretch, then bends the neck posterior over the back, then rolls forward to put the head into the water as the tail feathers fan out behind and the orange legs stir and spray water up behind the bird. 

Goldeneyes are divers. Their feet are located near the tail and this feature helps them dive and swim underwater. 

Nests are in natural cavities in trees and stumps, often in top snags, or in woodpecker holes. The female incubates and tends the young, who soon after birth are obliged to drop from nests 6 to 60 feet high.


The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. 
Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007.

Baicich PJ, Harrison CJO. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Princeton UP. 2005

Fisher C, Acorn J. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. 1998

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2001.

Tudge Colin. The Bird. Crown Publishers. New York. 2008

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