Common Goldeneye—photos and links

As noted in the general article, the Common Goldeneye’s species name, clangula, derives from a diminutive form of the Latin clangor (“noise”), referring to the faint sound its wings make when flying. Toward the end of this audio clip, you can hear this “little noise” that their wings make.  (Scroll down a bit to “typical voice.”)  Interestingly, a number of duck species produce a soft wing noise upon take-off.  It’s hard to know why Common Goldeneyes were given that moniker…

The Common Goldeneye’s closest relative is the Barrow’s Goldeneye; a few find their way into Colorado in the winter.  If you get a decent look, the adult males can be relatively easy to tell apart.  This photo displays a male and female Common Goldeneye; notice the bright white oval crescent behind the male’s bill.  Here, you can see a male and female Barrow’s Goldeneye; note the convex white crescent behind the male’s bill.   You can also see how much less dramatic (although still lovely) the female’s plumage is.  And you get a sense of how similar a female Common Goldeneye looks to a female Barrow’s Goldeneye.

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