The Travels of Tug 44

Goldeneye Duck

The Goldeneye Duck is a small diving duck, they dive for fish. The large white spot on the side of the head by the beak indicates the males. Seen here in the Hudson River at Fort Edward.   high-res

It's early spring and love is in the air. The redhead is the female. These two ducks appear to have formed a bond, and are cruising and fishing together, but apparently she still needs more convincing ...   high-res

... so he tries some standing and wing flapping. Female Goldeneye Ducks are usually impressed by that sort of thing, but today she is not in the mood.   high-res

Now the male Goldeneye Duck tries some neck bending, that usually works ... but not today.   high-res

The "neck bending" display is usually followed by the "head throw kick" display, where the male throws his head back, looks straight up and starts kicking his feet furiously.   high-res

As a last resort, this male Goldeneye Duck does a few takeoff runs near the female. he doesn't actually lift off, he's just showing off. She is underwhelmed.   high-res

In this shot, the pair of Goldeneye Ducks is still bonded together but she is not yet ready to breed. Give it a few more weeks.   high-res

Things have progressed a bit and the male is now doing his "barrel roll" display. He extends one wing and foot and rolls over on his side. Females have their own displays too, here she indicates her approval with her head low in the water.   high-res

She was somewhat impressed by the "barrel roll" display, but now a 2nd male has arrived, so she does her "standing up and flapping" display. This sends both males into a frenzy of neck extending and other displays.   high-res

A close-up of the female "standing up and flapping".   high-res

Another look at the female. She flirted with the 2nd male, but in the end she stuck with the original male and they paddled off down the Hudson River together.   high-res

The Goldeneye Duck, a hard-working diving duck.

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