Living Bird Magazine
King EiderSomateria spectabilis
- ORDER: Anseriformes
- FAMILY: Anatidae
A large duck of Arctic coastal waters, the King Eider is one of North America's most spectacular waterfowl species. Highly gregarious for most of the year, it forms prodigious flocks during spring migration, sometimes exceeding 10,000 individuals.More ID Info
- Eider Real (Spanish)
- Eider à tête grise (French)
- Cool Facts
- The King Eider forages on sea beds up to 25 meters (82 ft) deep.
- The female King Eider alone attends the nest. When an intruder is present, the female sits low on the nest with her head flattened on the ground. She sits tightly on the eggs and sometimes can be touched or picked up off of the nest.
- The female King Eider does not feed very often during the 22-24 day incubation period. One female did not leave her nest for seven days before being flushed by an arctic fox.
- The oldest recorded King Eider was a female and at least 22 years, 1 month old when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Nunavut.