Goldeneye


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Goldeneye

 

(Bucephala clangula), a bird of the subfamily Nyrocinae. Measuring up to 50 cm in length, it weighs 600–1.100 gm. The plumage in both males and females is dark gray; in the spring, the male’s plumage becomes black and white, with white spots at the base of the bill. The goldeneye is distributed in Europe. Asia, and North America. In the USSR it is found in the forest and part of the forested steppezones. The bird swims and dives well. It lives on open lakes and fast-flowing rivers and feeds on small fish, water invertebrates, and the seeds of aquatic plants. The goldeneye arrives in the spring with the appearance of the first wormwoods. Nesting in hollows, frequently high above the ground, it lays 8–12 eggs. It is easily acclimatized to simulated tree hollows, where its eggs can easily be gathered. It migrates in the winter. In the USSR the goldeneye winters in the southern seas and lakes; however, in bodies of water that do not freeze, it may winter in the north or even high in the mountains. It is of commercial value. A related form, the Icelandic goldeneye (B. islandica), dwells in Iceland, Greenland, and North America.

A. I. IVANOV

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