Language English Laurentian Maple Forest Common goldeneye, male Photo: Biodôme Pair of common goldeneye Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing features The common goldeneye is a small, rather chunky diving duck. The male is white with a black head and back. The female is grey with a brown head. The male can be distinguished by the large white circle in front of each eye and its shiny green reflections. Reproduction The males, which are more numerous in the population, commence their courtship ritual in mid-winter. The most spectacular behaviour involves deep nodding of the head and ends in a characteristic harsh, double note, zeee-zeee or zee-zee-at. The female usually nests in a cavity in a tree near water. Diet These birds mostly feed on molluscs, crustaceans and the larvae of aquatic insects that they capture while foraging on the bottom. Like other diving ducks, common goldeneyes fully submerge their bodies while feeding. Predators The young are sometimes eaten by martens, black bears and red squirrels. Quebec hunters have taken some 10,000 common goldeneyes each season in recent years. Habitat These birds nest almost everywhere in the Northern hemisphere south of the treeline. They are found mainly in the boreal forest. They seek out lakes that are rich in invertebrates and old-growth forests, where they find cavities in which to nest. During winter in Québec, small groups of common goldeneyes frequent open bodies of water wherever the ice has thawed. Ecology, behaviour Common goldeneyes' rapid, whistling flight can reach 72 km/hr. As with other species of diving ducks, male common goldeneyes leave the nesting area during the incubation period to moult farther north. Females reach sexual maturity at age 2. French nameGarrot à oeil d'or Scientific nameBucephala clangulaPhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderAnseriformesFamilyAnatidae (geese and ducks)SizeLength: 40.5 to 51.0 cm; wingspan: 63.5 to 81.3 cmWeightAverage weight of male: 1,075 g; average weight of female: 789 gLife spanRecord: 14 years 3 monthsStatusLeast Concern (IUCN). Common species hunted for sport.