Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
Species
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima). Male. Taken at Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire on May 23rd 2019.
Male. Taken at Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire on May 23rd 2019.
(1/2000th sec at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima). Female. Taken at Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire on May 23rd 2019.
Female. Taken at Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire on May 23rd 2019.
(1/640th at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 60 - 70 cm; WS: 95 - 105 cm

The Common Eider is a large sea-duck. The male in breeding plumage is unmistakable, with a white back, pink chest, green nape and black head. The female is mostly brown.

It is found on the northern coasts of Europe, North America and eastern Siberia. It breeds in Arctic and some northern temperate regions, but winters somewhat farther south in temperate zones, when it can form large flocks on coastal waters.

It breeds on coasts and archipelagos on salt or brackish water.

Birds dive for crustaceans and molluscs at moderate depth.

The Eider is listed as amber on the British list, because of its winter concentrations in Britain. About 32000 pairs breed in Britain, and around 80000 birds spend the winter here.

Sightings

23-May-2019 : Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire
20-May-2019 : Liniclate, Benbecula
19-May-2019 : Lochmaddy, North Uist (4)
04-Jun-2008 : Farne Islands, Northumberland
02-Jun-2008 : Seahouses, Northumberland