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Anseriformes > Anatidae

Common Eider

Somateria mollissima

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Identification

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Flocks of these large sea ducks enliven northern coastlines. Males are white and black with a soft suffusion of green on the nape. Females brown or gray-brown with black barring covering body and wings. Similar to female King Eider, but note flatter forehead and barring (opposed to chevrons) on sides. Dives to feed on mollusks and other crustaceans. In late summer, look for flocks of females with dozens of ducklings; broods often join together. Several subspecies in North America; Pacific subspecies has orange bill, Atlantic has greenish bill.

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Learn more about Common Eider from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds