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Common Eider Somateria Mollissima

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Common Eider

Male - The male Eider has a large grey-green wedge-shaped beak, black and white plumage, and a pale green nape. The legs and feet are olive-green.
Female - The female has a brown barred plumage but still has the large characteristic beak which is olive-grey.
Eclipse - The male in eclipse plumage has a a dark brown plumage with white markings on the back and wings.


Size: - Typical Adult is 50-71cm (20-28in).

Food: - Mainly mussels which are swallowed whole, as well as other animal matter such as molluscs, and crustaceans.

Habitat/Range: - Coastal areas in north America, north Europe, Arctic, Greenland, and eastern Siberia.

Common Eider Map
Breeding Habitat/Resident,    Migration or Winter Area.

Breeding Season: - Early April further south but June in the north.

Eggs: - 4 to 6 (olive-grey colour).

Notes: - The Common Eider is a large sea duck which is found in the Northern Hemisphere. The female Eider plucks the feathers from her breast to line her nest. It used to be commonplace for Eider feathers (Eiderdown) to be harvested for filling pillows and quilts.

Conservation status (IUCN 3.1):
  Least Concern.  

Classification: - Family: Anatidae,
Subfamily: Merginae, Genus: Somateria.

Eider video:

Wildfowl (Alphabetical order):
A-B    C-F    G-L    M-R    S-Z   


Eider (Somateria Mollissima)