Barrow’s Goldeneyes

This gallery contains 2 photos. This is the first time I’ve been to Stanley Park in the autumn. On a chilly November 29, the waters were teeming with so much winged wildlife, including American Wigeons, Black Oystercatchers (a single flock of 33 individuals), Surf Scoters, Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Harlequin Ducks (the latest “lifers” for my bird list), Double-Crested Cormorants, the odd Pied-Billed Grebe, Mallards, Canada Geese, and hundreds of Barrow’s Goldeneyes.

Barrow's GoldeneyeI love how the drakes’ black heads iridesce from black to purple and green!
f/8, 1/400, 150-500mm telephoto lens, 439mm, ISO 125

Only the drakes sport the white, teardrop-shaped spot in front of their eyes; the hens have chocolate brown heads and orange bills with a bit of black mottling. Both sexes have the glowing yellow eyes for which the species is named. Like the Common Goldeneyes, Barrow’s Goldeneyes do a fair bit of diving, as you can see from the photo below. What surprised me was how comfortable (and perhaps, even curious) some of these seabirds, like these Barrow’s Goldeneyes were with the various human users (bikers, hikers, dogwalkers), of the Stanley Park Seawall. This is the closest I’ve gotten to these birds, who seemed rather intent on entertaining us with their antics.

Barrow's Goldeneyesit was a privilege to be in the close company of these aquatic entertainers!
f/8, 1/400, 150-500mm telephoto, 439mm, ISO 160



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