Common Goldeneye Ducklings

Common Goldeneye Ducklings

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(Bucephala clangula). Patient Number 24-365-368, 379.

Date of admission: June 2, 2024.
Reason for admission: Orphaned.

Patient History:

The common goldeneye, a striking diving duck, is a frequent sight in Alberta's lakes and rivers. These medium-sized ducks are easily recognizable by their brilliant yellow eyes and contrasting black and white plumage. During the breeding season, males perform elaborate courtship displays, bobbing their heads and making distinctive whistling sounds to attract females. Known for their agility, goldeneyes dive underwater to catch fish, insects, and crustaceans, showcasing their remarkable hunting skills.

In Alberta, these ducks are not just a treat for birdwatchers but also play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They nest in tree cavities near water, often taking over old woodpecker holes. Their presence indicates healthy aquatic environments, as they prefer clean, clear waters. Watching a flock of common goldeneyes take off from a lake is a breathtaking sight, their rapid wingbeats and synchronized movements adding a touch of magic to Alberta's natural beauty.

Meet some of our latest arrivals at AIWC: a lively group of orphaned common goldeneye ducklings! These tiny adventurers were found without their mother near Calgary and are now safe and sound in our care. Each duckling, weighing just 30 to 42 grams, is in their first week of life and already showing signs of wanting to explore. They're currently housed in a warm brooder tub, where they can stay at the correct temperature until they are old enough to handle more variation in the weather and be moved outside.

As they grow, they'll learn to dive and forage, developing the skills they'll need to thrive in the wild. We are happy to provide them with a safe space to grow and prepare for the big, wide world awaiting them.