This morning’s fine sunshine brought a Common Goldeneye pair into focus. I’ve seen and photographed several of the females before, but hadn’t got a nice a shot of the male.
Goldeneyes lead interesting lives. They nest high up in tree cavities, and the mother may coax day-old ducklings of her breed to step out of the nest and tumble 40 feet to the ground. They can feed themselves from the second day. In the course of territorial wars between different females, ducklings may end up being raised by other mothers. Different species of ducks also commonly lay their eggs in each others’ nests. Their breeding territory is in the far north (Alaska, Canada). They are excellent fliers, making a whistling noise with their wings. They come to places like the North Basin in the winter. They’re mostly carnivorous, diving for little fish, crabs, shrimp, eggs, crustaceans, with some vegetables on the side. They’re said to be aggressive toward other ducks, but there aren’t enough of them on the North Basin at this time to pose much of a threat to anyone.