Barrow's goldeneye

(Bucephala islandica)


Barrow's goldeneye IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The Barrow’s goldeneye is a sea duck strongly aquatic in its lifestyle and an excellent diver. It has yellow eyes, a steeply sloped forehead with flatter crown and peak at the forward part of crown, and a small, stubby bill.The body-weight of males is about 1.1 kg, of females about 1 kg.

Barrow’s goldeneyes nest in tree cavities or, in treeless areas, on the ground. 9 to 11 bluish eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female alone for 32 days.

Did you know?
that the Barrow's Goldeneye is not too particular about holding on to its own offspring? A female may lay eggs in the nest of another goldeneye or other species of cavity-nesting duck. Once the ducklings come out of the nest, the broods of different females often come together and are taken care of by a single female. The young ducklings are highly independent, feeding on their own, and require little parental care.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Bucephala islandica
Name (English) Barrow's goldeneye
Name (French) Garrot islandais
Name (German) Spatelente
Name (Spanish) Porrón islándico
Local names Estonian: Läänesõtkas
Italian: Quattrocchi islandico
Romansh: Anda islandaisa
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA



Photo Copyright by
Adrina Pingstone



Range Breeds in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and the United States. Vagrants may be encountered in a number of European countries.
Habitat Marine and freshwater wetlands.
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 180,000 to 210,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 114 reported to ISIS (2006).

In the Zoo

Barrow's goldeneye


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Why do zoos keep this animal

The Barrow's goldeneye is not a threatened species. Zoos keep them for educational purposes and as an ambassador species for wetland and marine conservation.