A tale of two ducks…


Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between a Barrow’s and Common Goldeneye. On other occasions, however, it is quite easy to tell them apart. The latter was the case as I observed these two female Goldeneyes on a rather grey day in North Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada.

The photo above is a female Barrow’s in full breading mode: Aside from the bright orange and especially relatively stubby bill, note the rounded head. The photo below is a Common. Aside from the mostly dark bill, note the rather less rounded and more “peaked” head.

Taken February 14, 2016, on the beach near Harbourside Drive in North Vancouver, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top (female Barrow’s Goldeneye): ISO 1400 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, cropped
  • Bottom (female Common Goldeneye): ISO 1250 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, cropped



2 thoughts on “A tale of two ducks…

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