Sunday, January 12, 2014

Common Goldeneye

I photographed this rather bedraggled-looking Common Goldeneye at the west outlet of Black Dog Lake in northern Dakota Co. I am not sure how to explain this appearance, since this species is a hearty duck, often found in Minnesota winters.

I was surprised to learn in Eadie et al. (1995) that fish constitute only a very small portion of a Common Goldeneye’s diet (4%). Crustaceans, insects, and mollusks are their prized prey (70%), filled out by vegetation (26%). Goldeneyes are diving ducks, and can remain under water for almost a minute. They swim underwater with closed wings. They can capture more than one prey item per dive and usually consume their catch while submerged.

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