Common Goldeneye: Medium diving duck, white-striped black upperparts, white underparts. Head is iridescent green-black with white circular patch between yellow eyes and dark gray bill. Wings are dark with large white patches conspicuous in flight. Legs and feet are yellow. Swift, direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Common Goldeneye: Breeds in Alaska and across Canada to Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces, and south to mountains of Montana and Great Lakes. Spends winters in much of the U.S., wherever water is open. Breeds on wooded lakes and ponds; winters mainly on coastal bays and estuaries.
Females typically return to the areas where they hatched (philopatry), and once they breed, often return to the same nesting site year after year.
The Common Goldeneye is the only duck in North America known to derive benefits from lake acidification. Many acid-tolerant insects provide plentiful prey, and most fish cannot live in these environments, thus reducing competition.
Their rapid wingbeats produce a loud whistling sound in flight, easily identified even when the birds cannot be seen; hunters call this species the "Whistler."
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.