Thursday, February 19, 2009

Colorado Duck ID: Female Goldeneye

Richard, one of my readers located in Colorado, shared this picture of a duck he's trying to identify. I made a very feeble attempt to ID it just using online resources (All About Birds, Ducks Unlimited, etc.) but ran out of time on my lunch break. I forgot to check my guide books at home last night, and thought I'd open it up to the rest of my readers to get him an answer sooner than later.

First of all, it's a great picture. I find capturing ducks on water can be extremely difficult, so Richard already has that in his favor.

Any thoughts?

UPDATE: 2/19/09 11:30am
Thanks to Jeff and Gabrielle for solving this mystery ID in record time!
I should really study up on my waterfowl...


Anonymous said...

It's a female Goldeneye. Common, I think based on the shape of the head and location in CO. Aside from the yellow eye, it's the rusty brown head, grey body with white patch on the wing and the white band around the neck that all indicate Goldeneye. I agree it's a good shot. I can never get good pics of ducks on the water :(

Jeff said...

That looks like a female Common Goldeneye. (pic)

Apart from the eye itself you could observe the neck ring, the brown head, and the yellow bill tip. The rest of the bill is too dark and the head too slender for this to be a Barrow's.