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 ?
Steller's Eiders migrated up to 4500 km from breeding areas in Russia to molting areas in Alaska--locations that were much closer to wintering areas than to breeding areas.
In December 2005, the Court had already ruled in its judgement (C-344/03) that Finland had failed to fulfil its obligations under the Birds Directive due to spring hunting of male eiders, among other species in land province.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative MP for Berwick, has been calling on the Government to ensure the eider duck has the protection it needs.
Now Berwick Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has been calling on the Government to ensure the eider duck has the protection it needs.
We obtained the 22 common eiders used for this study by collecting eggs from wild breeding colonies in Maine, USA.
Due to differences in hunting strategy and number of eiders shot, this area was divided into two parts: the area between the mainland coast and the islands (named the Central Wadden Sea, 641 [km.
On calm, flat-water winter days, eiders float and drift as though painted on a portrait, offering little action.
I can't imagine hunting eiders without a dog," said Scout's owner, Shawn Prince, another one of our guides.
Eiders are northern sea ducks, known for their beauty and exquisitely fine down feathers, which were used for centuries to make comforters known as "eiderdowns.
Steller's eiders have become scarcer in recent decades, nearly disappearing from their Alaskan nesting areas.