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Anseriformes > Anatidae

King Eider

Somateria spectabilis

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Identification

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Very colorful sea duck with a rather peculiar head shape, a thick neck, and a rounded nape that breeds on the Arctic tundra. Adult male has powder blue nape, green cheek, red bill, and yellow-orange forehead. Also note peachy breast and black-and-white body on male. Female is warm buffy-brown with a blackish bill; shaped to look like she's smiling. Immature male dark brown overall with paler breast and orange bill. Rare south of the Arctic; found singly or in small flocks on the ocean, often mixed with Common Eider or other sea ducks. Females and young males more regularly seen further south than adult males.

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Learn more about King 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