Portrait of a goldeneye (c) Justin Burt


Goldeneyes are ducks with a cunning way of raising their chicks. They often lay their eggs in each others' nests where, if the timing is right, a sister, aunt or cousin will end up raising the chicks. Bright, deep-yellow eyes are the defining feature of these diving ducks. The male breeding plumage can also be quite striking. Goldeneyes breed in the northern taiga forests, nesting in trees across North America and Eurasia. The provision of nest boxes has tempted a few migrants to stay and breed in Scotland, though they are common winter visitors across all the UK.

Scientific name: Bucephala clangula

Rank: Species

Common names:

Common goldeneye

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Map showing the distribution of the Goldeneye taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Goldeneye can be found in a number of locations including: Arctic, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, North America, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Goldeneye distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Anseriformes
  6. Ducks, geese and swans
  7. Bucephala
  8. Goldeneye