As a convenient follow up to my recent Common Goldeneye encounter, I found this crew of Barrow’s Goldeneyes at Jericho Beach Park yesterday:
They look very similar but the males are easy to tell apart. The white patch in front of the eye is crescent shaped for the Barrow’s and round-ish for the Common. You just have to remember which is which. You could try remembering that the Barrow’s is shaped like a barrow (a hill) – but the round one is also vaguely hill-shaped… or maybe you could consider circles a more COMMON shape than a crescent? I actually think it would be easier to remember the other way around because the crescent is shaped like a backwards C as in Common – but DON’T remember that it will just mess you up!
Another subtle difference is the Common Goldeneye has a green-ish iridescence, and the Barrow’s has a purple-ish iridescence. In the females – the Common Goldeneye has a grey bill with (usually) a yellow tip, and the Barrow’s Goldeneye lady generally has an all yellow/orange bill.
But they both have Golden Eyes and they both are ballin – this guy was also rolling with a mix of ladies: