King Eider

Somateria spectabilis

About the object

see less see more
In many languages, this type of duck is also known as “king eider”. This name refers to the male drake’s magnificent, brightly coloured breeding plumage. Crown and neck are a light grey-blue, a white line stretches from above eye level to the neck. The cheeks are pale green while the forehead is black. The throat, front of the back and top and bottom of the wings are white, while the breast is a salmon pink colour. The rest of the plumage, including the feathers on the upperparts of the wings, are black. The bright red bill is elongated through a characteristic frontal knob or lobe. The overall colour of the male's basic plumage is a blackish brown. The female plumage, a mottled warm reddish brown, remains plain throughout the year. King eiders, and certainly sea ducks, are somewhat smaller than common eiders. They breed around the polar regions and tundra freshwaters of the northern lying coasts and islands of the Arctic Ocean. They can also be found up to 100km inland along these seabound rivers. Their wintering grounds lie more to the south, such as in Canada and Norway. King eiders generally breed in individual pairs rather than in colonies typical for the common eiders, although they will form groups if the conditions are right. The ground nests are padded out with feathers and down and built in scraped out hollows or depressions. The female will incubate the clutch of 4 to 6 olive brown eggs by herself for around 24 days and is also responsible for raising the chicks after they have hatched. It is common for multiple females to form groups together with their chicks. King eiders are omnivorous. The proportion of meat in their diet in the form of water insects and their larva, crabs and molluscs, as well as echinoderms and even small mammals, is greater than the proportion of edible plants. In their search for food, they can dive for up to two minutes and 15 meters deep. King eiders can live to the age of 20.

Object information

Ihre Nachricht

Ihre Nachricht zum Objekt

Ihre Nachricht zur Person