Can you tell? Hint: these are all Goldeneye. The brown-headed birds are (probably*) all female and immature Common Goldeneye, and all but one of the black-and-white birds are male Common Goldeneye. That one exception…
Do you see the one that doesn’t match, a visitor from the far north and west?
That’s a male Barrow’s Goldeneye, life bird and NYS Species #255! After striking out twice last weekend, I was lucky that the bird was still hanging around this morning. So after errands we headed back upriver hoping third time was the charm. I was beginning to despair when the river looked nearly birdless, but then a good flock of waterfowl moved in and at last (with help) we were able to pick him out of the crowd. We spent the pleasantly springlike afternoon enjoying the ducks’ courtship performances.
Despite their best yodeling, the ladies did not look impressed.
Look at that beautiful eye! It’s obvious where they get their name.
Goldeneye are diving ducks, so sometimes just as I was getting the camera on them they’d do this:
A Song Sparrow affirmed that spring really is coming, and he just had to sing about it!
*One sharp-eyed birder spotted one female with more yellow on her beak — probably a female Barrow’s. I was happy enough to be able to pick out the male!