Saturday, May 18, 2013

Jacob Hurd-Burnell Spectacled Eider

Spectacled Eider

Very little is known about the Spectacled Eider because it wasn't discovered until the 1990's Because they live in the most remote and extreme sub-arctic environment on earth.


-The Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) is a large sea duck, which breeds on the coasts of Alaska and northeastern Siberia.

-The lined nest is built on tundra close to the sea, and 5-9 eggs are laid. This species dives for crustaceans and molluscs.

-It winters in often enormous flocks at sea in the Arctic along the edge of the pack ice.

The Spectacled Eider is slightly smaller than the Common Eider at 52-57cm.

-The male is unmistakable with its black body, white back, and yellow-green head with the large circular white eye patches which give the species its name.

-The drake's call is a weak crooning, and the female's a harsh croak.

-The female is a rich brown bird, but can still be readily distinguished from all ducks except other eider species on size and structure.

-Immature birds and eclipse adult drakes are similar to the female.

-Migrating birds

-Dive to the sea floor for food

-The Spectacled Eider evolved differently but is very similar to the common Eider

Eating Habits:
Spectacled eiders often feed like dabbling ducks, immersing their heads in the water and tipping up to forage. They feed primarily on mollusks and crustaceans in shallow waters and may forage on pelagic or free-floating amphipods that are concentrated along the sea-water/pack-ice interface. On coastal breeding grounds, they feed on freshwater mollusks, small crustaceans, insect larvae, grasses, berries and seeds. They utilize inland ponds and coastal shallows during brood rearing to feed on crane flies and caddis fly larvae.

-Male and Female look different and make different calls, Presumably for mating reasons. Another possible reason could be because the female camouflages with the arctic tundra grasses to stay with the eggs and stay hidden from predators such as the arctic fox.

Because there was so little information some of what I have I had to make up from observation.

1 comment:

  1. These are lovely. Try doing a drawing of the nest and eggs too if you haven't already.