The Common Goldeneye is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Adults have yellow eyes.
Adult males have a dark head with a greenish gloss and a circular white patch below the eye, a dark back and a white neck and belly.
Adult females have a brown head and a mostly grey body.
Distribution / Range:
Their breeding habitat is forested lakes and rivers across Canada and the northern United States, Scandinavia and northern Russia.
They nest in cavities in large trees. They will readily use nestboxes, and this has enabled a healthy breeding population and to establish in Scotland where they are increasing and slowly spreading with the help of nestboxes. They are usually quite common in winter around lakes of Britain and some are trying to be encouraged to nest in nestboxes which are put up to try and have them there all year round.
Common Goldeneyes typically forage underwater. They eat crustaceans, aquatic insects and small fish.
Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae often found under rocks, as well as aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.
Feeding Ducks ...
We all enjoy ducks and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!
However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.
Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.
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