Birds of the World: December 2012

Birds of the World: December 2012

Birds of the World: December 2012

Common name: common eider (en); pato-eider (en); eider à duvet (fr); common eider; eiderente Taxonomy:
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

Range:
The common eider is found along the coasts of the northern Atlantic, northern pacific and the Arctic Ocean. In the Atlantic the breeding range goes far south to northern England and Ireland, and Maine in the United States. In the Pacific the breeding range goes as far as southern Alaska. The wintering range goes to the coasts of France, Virginia, northern British Columbia and southern Kamchatka, Russia. and have a wingspan of 90-105 cm. They weigh 0.9-3 kg. Habitat:
Common eiders nest in rocky shorelines and tundra, particularly in small offshore islands that are free of mammalian predators. They forage on a wide range of coastal habitats including rocky shores, coastal lagoons, fresh water lakes, sandflats and mudflats and can also be found out at sea. Diet:
They feed by diving into the water, mainly eating marine invertebrates. Their diet includes molluscs such as mussels, clams, scallops, cockles and snails, crabs, sea urchins and starfishes. Breeding: Common eiders are monogamous and form large breeding colonies that may have over 10,000 birds.

They breed in June-August. The nest is a scrape in the ground lined with down the female plucks for its own body, it is often hidden among tall grasses and always located near the sea. The female lays 4-5 light gray eggs, which she incubates alone for 25-28 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and start foraging on the sea under the protection of the female, they fledge 65-75 days after hatching. Common eiders reach sexual maturity at 2-3 years of age.

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