Goldeneye Ducks

Goldeneye Ducks are small seaducks that occur naturally in the northern hemisphere.

Their plumages are patterned black and white or brown and white, with some glossy green or purple markings

Like many ducks, they nest in tree cavities.

They mostly feed on fish, crustaceans and other marine life.

Recognized Species and Ranges:

  • Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula – Found across Canada and the northern United States, Scandinavia and northern Russia.
  • Barrow’s Goldeneye Bucephala islandica – Found in northwestern North America; at scattered locations in eastern Canada and Iceland.
  • Bufflehead Bucephala albeola – Found on the east and west coasts of North America and the southern United States. Rare vagrant to western Europe. Breed in Alaska and Canada.

More Duck Resources

Diet / Feeding:

Common Goldeneye Ducks 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.

  • Foods that can be fed to Ducks, Geese and Swans to survive cold winters and remain healthy when food is scarce in their environment.

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.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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