Eiders


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Related to Eiders: eider duck, Common Eider

Eiders

 

two genera (Somateria and Polysticta) of sea diving ducks. Eiders have a large head, a massive bill, and a short neck. There are four species. Eiders inhabit the coasts and islands of northern Europe, Asia, and North America. The common eider (S. mollissima) and king eider (S. spectabilis) are found near the arctic circle; the common eider also lives on the shores of the North and Baltic seas. The spectacledeider (S.fischeri) inhabits the northeast coast of Siberia and Alaska, and Steller’s eider (P. stelleri) lives in Siberia from the Iamal Peninsula to the Chukchi Peninsula.

The diet of eiders consists of marine invertebrates such as mollusks and small crayfish and, more rarely, algae and berries. Eiders nest on the ground, or, less frequently, on cliffs near the sea; often they nest where they can be protected by hummocks, rocks, or driftwood. A clutch contains four to six eggs, rarely seven or eight. With the beginning of egg laying, the female plucks long gray down from her belly and breast, with which she lines the nest and makes a ridge around its edges. Between 17 and 20 g of down can be collected from a nest. Eiderdown is highly valued as a light and heat-insulating material and is used for making warm clothing for aviators, polar explorers, and mountain climbers. In northern Europe the collecting of down has been carried on for centuries (in the 15-16th century Iceland supplied Holland with down). In the North of the USSR, eiderdown has also been collected for centuries. The common eider is especially valuable, as it settles in colonies and is easily domesticated if it is protected. Hunting eiders is prohibited. There are special preserves in the USSR in the Murmansk Oblast and in Estonia.

REFERENCES

Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Vol. 4. Moscow, 1952.
Obyknovennaia gaga (Somateria m. mollissima L.) v SSSR: Sb. Tallinn, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
The reasons for the decline of nesting Steller's eiders in Alaska are not clear.
Spectacled eiders were listed as threatened in May, 1993 following a 95% decline of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta) breeding population in the previous two decades.
We were set up for less than 10 minutes when Rauen spotted a string of eiders to the north.
To begin, the vast majority of spectacled eiders spend at least 40 weeks a year riding the waves and ice floes of the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas.
One of the decoys was a snow goose for added visibility', with the remainder being eiders.
Nest densities and apparent nest success by habitat type of Common Eiders breeding on Stratton Island, Maine, 2004-2005.
Categories: Appropriations Decison, Appropriated funds, Conservation, Conservation practices, Conservation programs, Eider Conservation Plan, Endangered species, Environmental education, Federal funds, Funds management, Gifts or gratuities, Strategic planning, Waterfowl, Wildlife, Wildlife conservation
Eiders are big and tough, and can absorb more pellets than any type of duck I've ever seen.
inform the public about Steller's eiders and involve communities in the decision-making processes related to eider conservation issues,
BDMLR chairman Alan Knight said the nets must have been set to catch seals or otters and that the eiders were "a tragic by-catch".
The eider population, due to increased hunting and egg collection by humans, has been depleted to an extent that Table Bay is one of the few places left with significant numbers of breeding eiders.
None are actual guides, but cigar-chomping hunt leader and DU regional director Bill Brown has formidable knowledge of sea-ducking, and Brad Allen is the state biologist with a singular obsession for eiders.