Barrow's goldeneye in exhibit

Barrow’s Goldeneye

Scientific Name

Bucephala islandica

Class

Aves

Order

Anseriformes

Range

Iceland, Canada, and the northwestern United States

Habitat

Coasts

Estimated Wild Population

257,000
Barrow's goldeneye in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Barrow’s goldeneyes were named for their bright yellow eyes, which contrast against their dark face. They are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. During breeding season, males have dark purple, iridescent heads and dark faces with white patches. Females have olive heads, dark wings, and a white underside. These medium-sized duck spends much of their time in the water, where they forage for aquatic invertebrates and plants.

Interesting Fact 1

Barrow’s goldeneyes dive into shallow water to catch their prey.

Interesting Fact 2

Males attract females with elaborate breeding displays that include twisting and lifting their heads.

Interesting Fact 3

Females often return to the same elevated cavities, typically abandoned tree holes, to nest and lay eggs.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

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