The common Goldeneye is a bird of the duck family, has a large rounded head, short beak and black-and-white plumage. It inhabits the area of forests in Northern Eurasia. These birds nest in hollows of trees, or on the banks of forest ponds.
During the breeding bird Gogol kept in shaded areas. Females lay 5 to 13 eggs. Different from other ducks that rarely swarm, time of nesting, however, form small groups.
Ducks overwinter on the coast or the banks of large reservoirs. The bird eats small invertebrates are often the animals and insects.
The appearance of the male
Duck Goldeneye has a stocky body shape and short neck. Body length is 42-50cm, the wingspan is 65-80 cm, Males have more weight than females, their body mass ranges from 750 grams to 1.2 kilograms. Bulk of females slightly smaller, ranging from 500 grams to 1 kilogram.
Birds have a pointed crown, this head has the shape of a triangle. Short beak extends to the base, and tapers to the nose.Males in breeding color, have black plumage of the head, with green hues under the eyes and at the base of the beak white spot.
For males duck Goldeneye characteristic features:
- Rounded head, you pointed.
- Stocky body type.
- The beak is short with a black color.
- The eyes are yellow.
- Breast, abdomen and flanks white, shoulders black and white braid. A large part of the back and tail has the tail black.
- The wings are brownish. Legs orange, with webbed feet.
Female Goldeneye ducks look less contrastin color is dominated by brown and grey shades.
- The head is dark brown.
- Eyes are white, or pale yellow.
- The beak is dark gray. At the base and tops may be yellow stripes on beak.
- The upper torso is painted in grey, the lower white. Wings slate color.
- Compared with males feet females are more pale.
In summer, the male may be similar to the female, however, it retains its signs of distinction. Young birds differ from adult females, they have brown eyes.
Birds can be divided into 2 subspecies, which differ from each other in size and length of the beak.
- Eurasian “B. c. clangula”.
- American, larger “B. c. americana”.
There is also “monotypical” appearance, formed by the mixing of the two subspecies, American and Eurasian.
At the age of two years, Goldeneye ducks reach sexual maturity. Pairs are formed during the winter migration. However, males and females often overwinter in different areas, and so many birds remain single to the beginning of the spring migration.
In the nesting grounds, Gogol arrive in small groups or in pairs. Sometimes they arrive when the water is still frozen. Then the birds keep on potassic puddles, and waiting for the opening of the reservoir. Drakes behave defiantly in front of females, they pull the neck forward, then abruptly tilt your head to the back, and turn up their beak to the sky. Raise a spray of water, striking the water surface with their paws.
Breeding occurs in pairs, in early April or may. For nests used hollow trees, at a height up to 15 meters, preferably choose to make nests near the water. The trees standing in open areas, have a preference for nesting Gogol. They use natural cavities in the trunk, and are willing to occupy the abandoned nests of other birds.
Rarely settle on the ground, in such situations, the ducks Gogol occupy burrows of rabbits, settle in hollows stumps or arrange housing between the roots of the trees.Sviv one nest, individual birds can take and use it for decades. The bottom of the nest is carpeted with trash trees, bark, down which the ducks pluck from your body.
Laying eggs is from 5 to 13 pieces. The eggs are brownish-green or green shades. There are times when one nest is laying two ducks, then the number of eggs can be over 20. However, this often leads to the death of the offspring, as it is left unattended or stolen by predators.
Duck eggs are large, have a size of 52-67 mm. the Hen incubates the eggs after laying the last, and continues for one month. The female incubates the eggs alone, sometimes leaving the nest to search for food, but before that, cover the eggs with down. However, the last 10 days before the birth of hatchlings, the female never leaves the nest she incubates for providing them warmth.
Drakes are next to the female in the first 7-10 days, and then leaves her forever, and depart in place for seasonal shedding. The Chicks after birth have a black-and-white coloration. They’re blow-drying throughout the day, and then, spread its wings, jumping to the ground, and follow the water for her mother.
Ducklings at the age of 2 weeks can dive and get their food. They may be without supervision, however, to fly they learn at the age 57-66 days.
The main diet consists of invertebrates that live on the bottom of ponds. A duck dives to the bottom, reaches a depth of up to 4 meters, able to hold under water for more than one minute, and then surfacing with caught prey.
In summer, the diet shifted towards eating insects and larvae, such as:
- Caddis worm.
- Aquatic beetles.
In the winter, and eat crustaceans and mollusks. If given the opportunity, eat earthworms, small fish. The fall in the food are seeds, roots and edible parts of various kinds of aquatic plants.
The most part, representatives of ducks Gogol, have a nomadic lifestyle. Only some members that live in North-West Europe, lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Usually winter to the South or West of the location of breeding sites, in the littoral strip of the sea on the shores of large bodies of water, lakes and rivers. Often nests near humans, from artificial reservoirs, however, this happens in places where people do not intersect with the bird.
The population living in the Northern regions, the winter move to Mora. Most European birds wintering conducts in the Baltic sea in the North sea, on the coast of Denmark and the Netherlands. Also, they can be found along the coast of great Britain and Ireland, from the southern countries living on the coast of Greece and the black sea.
In the far East, a place for wintering birds choose from unfrozen ponds and the Japanese Islands. Duck Goldeneye also occur in the Gulf of Mexico, in the valley of the Mississippi.