Steller's Eider Life History


Habitat Lakes and Ponds

  • Breeds on tundra, near edges of shallow ponds. Compared to other eiders, not so closely tied to the sea or coast.
  • Winters along coast in shallow lagoons with large tidal flats, and in deep bays.
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Food Aquatic invertebratesAquatic invertebrates, including insects and larvae, small crustaceans, clams, and mussels.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

On ground in open tundra. Made of grass, weeds, lichens, and down.

Nesting Facts
Egg Description:Olive-buff to brownish-orange.
Condition at Hatching:Downy and eyes open. Feed themselves immediately.
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Behavior Surface DiveDives underwater, but also tips-up.Back to top


Conservation Red Watch ListThere is little information on population trends of Steller's Eider, but populations appear to be declining, and the species is considered threatened in the United States and rare in Russia. Steller's Eider is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action.Back to top


Fredrickson, Leigh H. (2001). Steller's Eider (Polysticta stelleri), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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