Yellow-billed Goldeneyes

Today, after doing some scouting for the Concord CBC (which is now on hold after finding my territory all ice and deep water), I headed over to the Charles for a few minutes. It was on the quiet side (no mergansers, only 1 ring-neck) but the first goldeneye of the winter had arrived. Interestingly, the female had an entirely pale bill. With a bunch of Barrow’s reported lately (including one at Fresh Pond), I got excited for a couple seconds, but it was shaped more like a Common.

Note that the head is slicked down a bit in the first photo.

Yellow-billed Common Goldeneye

Yellow-billed Common Goldeneye

Update: John Crookes found this bird independently and has a much better photo of it (with the male). Anyone want to go over the ID again?

Another update: I’ve posted 3 more photos, with a second bird for comparison.

Interestingly, I had a very similar bird here a couple years ago (January 2005). Two photos of that one are below.

Previous Goldeneye

Previous Goldeneye

The previous one seems a bit more intermediate in shape, although I’m not sure whether that means anything. If you have any feedback on these birds, I’d like to hear it.

More photos:

3 thoughts on “Yellow-billed Goldeneyes”

  1. Looking at your photos, I can’t imagine why they’re called “goldeneyes.” 😉

    Great shots of those striking eyes — good BPW submission. Happy New Year!

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