As the lakes and ponds that they spend their summer on begin to freeze they head south in search of open water.
Many end up spending the winter in the southern part of the state where the Mississippi River does not freeze. This includes parts of the river from Prescott, WI. down through Redwing, MN and south to Reeds Landing and Wabasha, MN.
Most of the goldeneye in these flocks are the more widely distributed common goldeneye but every so often some spots, or thinks that they spot, a Barrow's goldeneye mixed in. When this happens then birders from all over the area converge to see a bird that is rare to this area.
Whenever we travel to Yellowstone the most common duck that we see is the Barrow's goldeneye. They can be found in almost every lake, pond, pool, river and stream. So I always try and take advantage when we are there and take a lot of Barrow's goldeneye pics. I found this Barrow's on trout lake. Originally he was on the other side of the lake but he took off to chase another goldeneye that was on the lake, they are very territorial especially in the spring. Fortunately I was in the right place and the right time and was able to snap this series of pics.