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Tips For Photographing The Common Goldeneye

Here are some top tips for photographing the common goldeneye.

| Eschenbach Arena D+ 10x50 B in Animals / Wildlife

Tips For Photographing The Common Goldeneye: common goldeneye


The common goldeneye is a robust bird of the north. They can be found in lakes, ponds and rivers during winter.



Adult goldeneyes are usually around 50 centimetres long. The male is easily recognizable with its magnificent black and white dress. The head is dark with green shimmers. The chest and flanks are white and the back is black. There is a white spot between the black beak and the bright yellow eye.
Like many bird species, the females are more subtle. They have a grey plumage from which their big, dark brown head stands out. The white spot is missing in the females but they have a white collar as well as delicate white spots on the flanks. Both sexes have light-red legs.



The breeding areas of the common goldeneye are located in North and North Eastern Europe. Other sub species also breed in Asia and North America. The European areas include large parts of Scandinavia, Poland, European Russia and parts of northern Germany. If you want to observe goldeneyes, you should look for them during winter because between November and March, they leave their icy breeding grounds and migrate to the south.
Goldeneyes like lakes and ponds. They also enjoy rivers, bays and calm coastal sections.


Behaviour And Knowledge

Common goldeneyes are very noisy in spring, especially during the courtship. They are skilful divers and get their food mostly underwater. They usually eat molluscs, insect larvae and small fish.

During the breeding season between April and July, everything revolves around the perfect tree cave. Goldeneyes often nest in tree cavities made by woodpeckers, but they also like artificial nests. The nest can be close to the ground or up to ten meters high! The female lays ten eggs and incubates them for 30 days until the black and white chicks hatch. As soon as the last chick has hatched, it must dare to jump with its siblings from the tree cave. One after the other they appear at the entrance, spread their wings and jump. This may seem dangerous, but most of the times, the chicks land unharmed. Their mother waits below and leads her offspring to the water.

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