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A golden(eye) day
Lens: Sigma 150-500 Camera: K5ii Photo Location: Reno, Nevada 
Posted By: gifthorse, 02-20-2016, 04:54 PM

Around town few days ago, a common Goldeneye duck




My favorite


and a Barrow's goldeneye duck





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02-20-2016, 07:13 PM   #2
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Nice, gifthorse!

---------- Post added 02-20-16 at 08:14 PM ----------

Are these all of the same duck?

Just wondering why the change in colour on the head?
02-20-2016, 10:05 PM   #3
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Thanks! Actually, they're two different species of duck. The common is found all across Canada in the summer and in the US during the winter. The Barrow's is pretty much found in the northwestern North America. The Barrow's is an iridescent purple with crescent shaped cheek patches. The common is iridescent green with oval cheek patches. Both are (in my opinion) rather pretty birds.
02-21-2016, 11:41 PM   #4
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Ah! Looking more closely I can see other differences, too. Thanks for the info.

Again...great shots!

02-22-2016, 08:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
Thanks! Actually, they're two different species of duck. The common is found all across Canada in the summer and in the US during the winter. The Barrow's is pretty much found in the northwestern North America. The Barrow's is an iridescent purple with crescent shaped cheek patches. The common is iridescent green with oval cheek patches. Both are (in my opinion) rather pretty birds.
There is also a population of Barrow's in eastern North America. It nests in Labrador and northeastern Quebec and winters in Atlantic Canada and New England. In Canada the eastern population is listed as a species of Special Concern on Schedule 1 of Canada's Species at Risk Act. On Saturday I went to see an adult male Barrow's that returns to Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland, every winter.

Last edited by pete-tarmigan; 02-22-2016 at 08:21 AM. Reason: omission
02-22-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
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We get occasional Barrow's on the river here, too. Mostly Common Goldeney though. The different color heads is just the way light diffracts. The purple/green color shift isn't uncommon. Very pretty birds, though they are much more shy on our river than where you are it seems.

Occasionally we see mergansers, scaups, bufflehead and others. Coots will nest here.
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