Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)


French: Garrot à oeil d’or German: Schellente Spanish: Porrón osculado
Other common names: Goldeneye

Anas Clangula


, 1758,



Sometimes placed in genus Glaucionetta. Infrequent hybridization with B. islandica in the wild. Known to hybridize in the wild with Mergellus albellus#R. Validity of subspecies has been questioned. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. c. clangula (Linnaeus, 1758) – breeds in Scandinavia and C Europe, and E through Russia and N Mongolia to N China and Kamchatka; winters in Britain, C & SE Europe and C Asia to E China, Korea, Japan and Kamchatka.
  • B. c. americana (Bonaparte, 1838) – breeds from Alaska E to Newfoundland; winters from Aleutian Is and Newfoundland S throughout North America to C Baja California, Durango and Tamaulipas, in Mexico.
  • Descriptive notes

    40–50 cm (male americana 45–51 cm, female 40–50 cm); male 888–1406 g, female 500–1133 g; wingspan 62–80 cm. Compact appearance... read more


    Largely silent, but male vocalizes during courtship—a faint “peent”, louder “zeee-ZEEE” and... read more


    Breeds on freshwater lakes, pools and rivers (including fast-flowing watercourses), typically... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly aquatic invertebrates (molluscs, crustaceans, worms, insects and larvae), amphibians, small fish (including salmon) and their spawn... read more


    Starts Apr/May in Europe, sometimes when brood-rearing wetlands are still frozen, e.g. Apr in Germany, mid May in Scandinavia and W Russia... read more


    Migratory, generally moving short to medium distances, with some birds migrating only as far as... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally considered stable. North American spring population clearly exceeds 1,000,000–1,500,000 birds; winter counts in W... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).