Saturday, 15 August 2009

Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)

OTHER NAMES: Eider, Cuddy Duck, St. Cuthbert's Duck
Latin Etymology: Somateria ("body wool") mollissima ("very soft")
Adult female Common Eider (subspecies S. m. mollissima) - Seahouses, Northumbria - July 2009

Featured Subspecies: Somateria mollissima mollissima
Weight: 1900-2200g
Length: 50-71cm
Wingspan: 104cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Eider is a very large duck, and a sea duck. Seeing one is largely dependent on location over luck, at the right time of year, visiting a place where they live will practically guarantee seeing them, and their very distinctive (and to me at least, slightly humorous) "ahhhWOOOUH" call makes them easy to find. I recommend Seahouses in Northumbria as a prime place to see them, they live along the rocky beach in front of the town.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Somateria
Subspecies: F. m. mollissima, F. m. faroeensis, F. m. borealis, F. m. v-nigrum, F. m. dresseri, F. m. sedentaria

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - An localised resident breeding species (27,000 territories) and scarce Wintering species (63,000 birds)
 - Seen at Seahouses and single Wintering birds at Penzance and Rye Harbour

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