Data for:
Akureyri--Leirur
List:

Anseriformes > Anatidae

King Eider

Somateria spectabilis

Sign in to see your badges

Identification

POWERED BY MERLIN

A fantastic sea duck of the high Arctic. Breeding male is particularly shocking, as if you left a child unsupervised with a set of paints; it would be very difficult to mistake this bird for anything else. At a distance, look for black back with “sails” sticking up, powdery-blue nape, and enormous orange knob on the face. Immature male is variable but usually dark brown or blackish overall with paler breast and orange bill. Female is buffy-brown with a blackish bill shaped to look like she’s smiling. Extensive breeding range across the Arctic tundra; winters at slightly lower latitudes, rarely as far south as the mid-Atlantic states of the U.S. Most often seen singly or in small flocks on the ocean, often mixed with Common Eider or other sea ducks. Rare on inland lakes, but more regular inland than Common Eider. Females and young males more regularly seen further south than adult males.

POWERED BY MERLIN

Statistics

Sign in to see your stats

Weekly Bar Chart

Choose a region to view Weekly Bar Chart

Range Map

Large map

Media

Top video

View all
King Eider

Birds of the World

Birds of the World logo

Comprehensive life histories for all bird species and families.

Explore King Eider