Golden Eyes These are active, strong-winged fliers moving singly or in small flocks, often high in the air. Distinctive wing-whistling sound in flight has earned the name of whistlers. Golden eyes generally move south late in the season; most of them winter on coastal waters and the Great Lakes. Inland, they like rapids and fast water.
Buffleheads Stragglers migrate south in mid-fall, but the largest numbers move just ahead of freeze up. Most flocks in feeding areas are small - 5 or 6 birds, with more hens and immatures than adult drakes. Very small size, bold black and white color pattern and low, swift flight are field marks. Unlike most divers, they can fly straight up from a watery takeoff.
Both the Golden Eye and the Bufflehead nest in old trunks of trees, often holes made by wood peckers.
When one takes the short cut near Walker, MN to avoid town, (and save 7 minutes), one goes by the city lagoon. Both species swim about there. Tom will say, "Bufflehead or Golden Eye?" If the light is right, I can see the eye. Other wise, I am looking for a circle or a wisp of white on its cheek.
EEEWWWW, lagoon fed? I don't think so.