Make your own free website on

North American Shoveler
Barrow's Goldeneye

[ Canvasback ] [ Common Goldeneye ] [ Burrow's Goldeneye ]
[ Bufflehead ] [ Ferruginous ]   [ Smew ]
[ Greater Scaup ] [ Lesser Scaup ] [ Hooded Merganser ]
[ Rosy Billed Pochard ] [ Redhead Pochard ] [ Red Crested Pochard ]
[ Tufted ]



The male Barrow's Goldeneye has a glossy purplish head with a crescent-shaped white patch between the eye and bill. The dark back contrasts with the white neck, breast and belly. The scapulars are black with a distinctive row of rectangular white spots. The white greater coverts are tipped with black forming a black band between the white speculum and the white patch on the greater coverts. The bill is black and the legs and feet are yellowish.

The female Barrow's Goldeneye has a dark chocolate-brown head with a narrow whitish collar. The back and sides are dapple-gray and the chest, breast and belly are white. The bill is fleshy-yellow with a blackish basal area and nail. The legs and feet are yellowish.


 Barrow's Goldeneyes nest in wooded or open country usually near a lake or pond surrounded by dense vegetation, usually in a natural tree cavity, abandoned woodpecker hole, nest box, rock cavity or stream bank. They often nest in same area in successive years and females lay an average of 6 to 12 eggs.

General Comments

In flight, a Barrow's Goldeneye is difficult to distinguish from a common Goldeneye. A puffy, oval-shaped head, steep forehead and stubby triangular bill help distinguish it from a resting common Goldeneye.
Barrow's Goldeneyes breed in southeastern Alaska, northern Mackenzie, and northwestern British Columbia south to eastern Washington, southwestern Oregon, and eastern California; the Colorado Rockies; Quebec, Labrador, Greenland, and Iceland.



Place Mouse over Pictures to Enlarge

Burrow's Goldeneye

Burrow's Goldeneye

Burrow's Goldeneye

Burrow's Goldeneye

How to Order