Image of sample bird and animal t-shirts for sale

Common Goldeneye
(Whistle-Wing, Whistler,
    Greathead, Garrot)

Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Bucephala

La. anser  goose
La. forma
  form, shape, kind
Gr. anous
La. anas
Gr. bous
Gr. kephale
Gr. boukephalos
La. clangere
  to resound (refers to
     whistling wings)

Common Goldeneye, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Birds of America, 1917
Louis Agassiz Fuertes
About twenty inches long. Large black head and black back with iridescent green tinge. The remainder is white. A white patch on each side between the eyes and the bill.

Goldeneyes inhabit the northern regions throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The Common Goldeneye nests in the northern U.S., southern Alaska and most of Canada and winters throughout Canada and as far south as California, Texas, Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. In Europe, Goldeneyes migrate south passing through Switzerland to Italy.


USGS Common Goldeneye Map

Makes nests of grass, leaves and moss, lined with down in deep cavities of decaying trees near rivers and fresh water lakes.

Lays six to twelve ashy green eggs which hatch after about a month of incubation. Ducklings are led to water at a very young age and fly at about two months age.

Dives for fish, frogs, shell fish and tender plant roots and seeds. Also eats insects.

Excellent swimmers, spending most of their time in the water except to nest when their poor walking abilities are revealed. They look comical, walking in a jerky motion slapping their huge webbed feet their wings extended often falling over if hurried.

Tolerates cold weather well being driven only by frozen water. Migrates in small flocks sometimes with other duck species. Wings produce a rhythmic whistling in flight; otherwise a silent bird.

The Common Goldeneye Nestbox has a 12" by 12" floor, 24" inside ceiling, 5" wide by 4" high oval entrance hole located 22" (to the top of the hole) above the floor and ventilation openings. Assembled with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes.  Hinged roof is secured with shutter hooks for easy access.

Mount at least 10 feet, higher if possible, on a tree trunk, (6' to 8' if on a post above water),

Free Printable Nestbox Plans and Dimensions for Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye
Nestbox Plans


in forest bottomlands within 100 feet of a river or a pond. Place some wood chips on the floor. Squirrels may use this box.


Common Goldeneye, Chester A. Reed, Color Key to North American Birds, Frank M. Chapman, 1912

Chester A. Reed


  50birds Home                                       Privacy Policy