[Ontbirds]Hybrid Common x Barrow's Goldeneye in Ottawa

Jean Iron jeaniron at sympatico.ca
Sun Feb 20 20:19:26 EST 2005

After Bruce Di Labio reported a hybrid Common x Barrow's Goldeneye in 
Ottawa on Friday to Ontbirds, I left early Saturday morning for Ottawa to 
see it. This is one hybrid that I've wanted to see for many years. I was at 
the spot five hours later. I soon saw the hybrid almost with about 45 male 
and female Common Goldeneyes in a small area of open water on the Rideau 
River. The hybrid was close. I watched it for several hours yesterday. As I 
was leaving another birder arrived who was looking for a male Barrow's 
Goldeneye reported there. I told him that the Barrow's was a hybrid. Later 
I discussed the hybrid with Bruce; we figured that the hybrid had been 
misidentified as a Barrow's Goldeneye. Before returning to Toronto this 
morning, I decided to see the two male Barrow's Goldeneyes wintering at 
Remic Rapids on the Ottawa River. I found them easily. One was very close 
so I compared it with the hybrid, which was now printed in my memory. After 
seeing the Barrow's, I decided to go for the hybrid goldeneye again to list 
both parent species and hybrid on the same day. When I arrived along the 
Rideau River, I immediately saw the hybrid with the naked eye. However, 
when I got it in the scope, it turned out to be a male Barrow's Goldeneye. 
I couldn't believe my eyes because I expected to see the hybrid. Within a 
minute I saw the hybrid too. I wasn't going crazy. For more than an hour 
today I watched a Barrow's, a hybrid, and Common Goldeneyes at close range 
often in the same scope field!

Directions: 1. The hybrid goldeneye and male Barrow's are in a small area 
of open water on the Rideau River beside the Rideau Tennis Club. Exit 
Highway 417 at exit 117 to Vanier Parkway/Riverside Drive. Go north on 
Vanier four traffic lights past the RCMP Headquarters to Donald Street, 
turn left and go two blocks to the Rideau River. 2. Remic Rapids viewing 
area is off the Ottawa River Parkway east of the Champlain Bridge (to 
Quebec) and Parkdale Avenue, but the Remic parking lot was closed so I 
parked in the lot across the parkway used by Health Canada employees on 
week days. It's a short walk to the river.

Ron Pittaway
Minden and Toronto
jeaniron at sympatico.ca

P.S. Jean's in Cuba leading a Quest Nature Tour so no photos were taken. 
However, Bruce has a photo of the hybrid that maybe he'll post to the OFO 
Photo Page.

More information about the ONTBIRDS mailing list