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Barrow's Goldeneye Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A small, stocky diving duck with a large, oddly shaped, oblong head. The bill is relatively small and the forehead relatively steep compared with a Common Goldeneye.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Bufflehead, smaller than a Common Merganser.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized

    • Male
      • Length: 16.9-19.1 in (43-48.4 cm)
      • Weight: 37.9-46.6 oz (1075-1320 g)
      • Wingspan: 27.6-28.7 in (70-73 cm)
    • Female
      • Weight: 20.5-30.7 oz (580-870 g)

Regional Differences

For a species with such widely separated populations, the Barrow’s Goldeneye shows little variation from place to place. All populations belong to the same subspecies. Female Barrow's Goldeneyes breeding in Iceland do not get extensively yellow bills like North American birds, having only a yellow or orangish band on the outer third of the otherwise dusky bill.