Barrow's Goldeneye on Rice Lake near Peterborough

This adult male Barrow's Goldeneye was where the Trent River flows into the northeast end of Rice Lake. Taking flight, it showed white on the secondaries and secondary coverts, and a white-spotted scapular line. This white secondary patch is smaller than on Common Goldeneye. 31 March 2012. Thanks to Scott Gibson for finding it, and Mike Burrell for posting on Ontbirds.


The Barrow's had a steep forehead, which joined the short stubby bill at right angle. The head flared out at the hind neck creating a distinctive shape. Well formed crescent-shaped spots were prominent between the eye and bill. The pattern of black and white on the scapulars formed a line of white spots.


Its head had a purple iridescence.


The Barrow's was with displaying Common Goldeneyes. It too was throwing back its head and thrusting its head forward. The females were all Commons, but it's easy to understand how hybrids occur as this Barrow's displayed to a female Common Goldeneye.