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Weird Goldeneye at Lake Merritt Sunday

Megan Jankowski
 

Sorry for the late post, but I was trying to determine if there was
anything to this. I saw a goldeneye yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at Lake
Merritt at the northwest corner (right by Grand Ave) which looked like a
male with a white cheek patch coming in, but it was sporting a solid yellow
bill. From what I can tell from the literature both Common and Barrow's
males are born with black bills and only the females gain any yellow to
their bills.

The other bird in the photo seems to have some yellow to his bill, which
was not evident in person, so I was unsure if there is just some natural
variation that's not easily or frequently observed. Any input is
appreciated.

Pictures here:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S61537877

There were also two Cackling geese nearby at Snow Park amongst about 75
Canada geese.

Megan Jankowski
Oakland

Joe Morlan
 

Megan,

Thanks for the interesting images. I believe these are both immature male
Common Goldeneyes. Barrow's has a shorter more pudgy shaped bill. The
bill color varies some, but I agree it should be dark in males of all ages.
I think this is a color abnormality possibly caused by a lack of melanin.
Similar color has been reported as a rare variation in female Common
Goldeneye.


On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 22:34:05 -0800, "Megan Jankowski"
<mindfuldocumentation@...> wrote:

Sorry for the late post, but I was trying to determine if there was
anything to this. I saw a goldeneye yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at Lake
Merritt at the northwest corner (right by Grand Ave) which looked like a
male with a white cheek patch coming in, but it was sporting a solid yellow
bill. From what I can tell from the literature both Common and Barrow's
males are born with black bills and only the females gain any yellow to
their bills.

The other bird in the photo seems to have some yellow to his bill, which
was not evident in person, so I was unsure if there is just some natural
variation that's not easily or frequently observed. Any input is
appreciated.

Pictures here:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S61537877

There were also two Cackling geese nearby at Snow Park amongst about 75
Canada geese.

Megan Jankowski
Oakland

--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Megan Jankowski
 

Thanks for the input! I definitely thought the bill shape looked like a
Common's. It's interesting that the color abnormality is localized in the
bill, though that makes me wonder if other bare parts, such as the feet,
might have a different color too.

Megan

On Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 3:26 AM Joseph Morlan <jmorlan@...> wrote:

Megan,

Thanks for the interesting images. I believe these are both immature male
Common Goldeneyes. Barrow's has a shorter more pudgy shaped bill. The
bill color varies some, but I agree it should be dark in males of all ages.
I think this is a color abnormality possibly caused by a lack of melanin.
Similar color has been reported as a rare variation in female Common
Goldeneye.


On Mon, 18 Nov 2019 22:34:05 -0800, "Megan Jankowski"
<mindfuldocumentation@...> wrote:

Sorry for the late post, but I was trying to determine if there was
anything to this. I saw a goldeneye yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at Lake
Merritt at the northwest corner (right by Grand Ave) which looked like a
male with a white cheek patch coming in, but it was sporting a solid
yellow
bill. From what I can tell from the literature both Common and Barrow's
males are born with black bills and only the females gain any yellow to
their bills.

The other bird in the photo seems to have some yellow to his bill, which
was not evident in person, so I was unsure if there is just some natural
variation that's not easily or frequently observed. Any input is
appreciated.

Pictures here:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S61537877

There were also two Cackling geese nearby at Snow Park amongst about 75
Canada geese.

Megan Jankowski
Oakland

--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA