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Black and White duck/loon, large round white spot

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  • Black and White duck/loon, large round white spot

    Not sure what to make of this picture. spotted it Feb14,2012 in Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada. Saw about 8 of them near a river that empties into the ocean. Shy birds, couldn't get very close, they often dive for 30 seconds at a time near the shorline, lots of mussles and peri winkles down below.

    Thought it might be some type of loon being mostly black and some white on wings/breast but haven't found any photos with the distinctive large round white circle on it's face or that much white on its breast. The eye looked orange 9hard to tell from photo).

    I can see the body colors changing throughout the season with some loon variations but this large round white circle should be a good feature to properly id it? Or is it some type of seabird?

    www.wildlifesightings.net
    Bird & Wildlife Sightings Citizen Science

  • #2
    It's a male Common Goldeneye.

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    • #3
      Fantastic, thanks !

      Pretty frustrating when you can't id something named 'Common', thanks again for the id help, beautiful looking bird.
      www.wildlifesightings.net
      Bird & Wildlife Sightings Citizen Science

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      • #4
        This is a very nice adult drake COMMON GOLDENEYE, presumably of the North American form americana. The American Goldeneye is said to have a 10% larger bill than the European nominate and has been mooted to have a more peaked crown. It is a relatively abundant species in North America with a population estimated to be at least one million. The Barrow's Goldeneye also occurs in North America but is much scarcer and much more localised in wintering locations.

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