Common Goldeneyes are by
far the more common and
numerous goldeneye found in the state, with the
Barrow's Goldeneye being only a rare
visitor. Hunters often refer to them as
"whistlers" due to the tendency of their wings to make a whistling
sound in flight. Historical records indicate the species may have once
nested in the state, but no confirmed nesting has occurred in decades.
Habitat: Nests in tree cavities, so requires trees
near water bodies during the summer breeding season. During migration
and in winter, can be found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, from
coastal areas to inland lakes and rivers.
Diet: Insects, crustaceans, small fish,
and some vegetation.
Behavior: Common Goldeneyes are diving ducks, with
the vast majority of food obtained from underwater. They will also
occasionally feed like a dabbling duck at the water's surface.
Breeding: Currently a non-breeder in the state.
Song: Grating cry from the male during courtship.
Migration: Winters throughout most of the United
States, summers in Canada and Alaska.
Conservation Status: Populations appear to be
stable. The species will use nest boxes, and populations increases may
have occurred in some locations due to abundant nest boxes.
South Dakota "Hotspot": The species can be found
in open water all over the state during migration. In wintertime,
concentrations often are found in the open water below the Missouri River
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Common Goldeneye"
eNature.com: Common Goldeneye
Photo Information: January 28th, 2007 - Missouri
River near Pierre - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Common Goldeneye photos.