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I'm going through some photos from a few years back and found this Goldeneye from Glacier NP that I had tentatively ID'd as a Barrow's. Is it possible to tell which species it is from these pictures? If it is, what makes you say one or the other? 

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Thanks,

-DG

 

Edited by Darrell

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A female Barrow’s will have a yellow bill in breeding season. Assuming the ducklings are hers, I would guess that she has breed recently. That being said, the forehead slope is near vertical ,which is diagnostic of Barrow.Fence sitting.

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My vote is for Barrow's as well. I saw a Goldeneye with chicks recently in a lake in the Rockies in Canada, and thought it was Common based on the dark bill, but then was corrected by the local reviewer who mentioned it's a common (hah) ID mistake because "both female Common and female Barrow's darken up in June." (to Aug?)

So based on that steep forehead, I'd say Barrow's is correct!

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