Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday - Eider

The Eider is a rather wonderful sea duck, famous for the down it produces to line its nest, which humans have learnt to steal to fill their eider-downs and jackets.

Somateria mollissisma is a rather bulky and short necked duck, with the female sporting a classically camouflaged plumage and the males a rather dapper suit of black and white.  Unfortunately, when I was up on the coast of Northumbria most of the males seemed to be else where!  I did manage to photograph one - who seems to be in one of the "bewildering variety of piebald plumages" mentioned in the BWP.

As you can see some of the females had ducklings with them - and I was also able to take some shots looking almost straight down on the females that were swimming in the harbour at Seahouses.





Now it's your turn.  Click on the link below and off you go.

35 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

so cute! love their 'roman noses'. beautiful ducks.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

bills are goose-like

cool looking birds

Jo said...

Oh wow, I just love the eider duck. I hope with foam filling now their down isn't too popular anymore. I'll add my link tomorrow (Wednesday) Have a great day. Jo

Ela said...

Oh, they are so beautiful !
Great photos !

Chris Rohrer said...

Eiders are life! And they look alien to me:) I've only seen the Common Eider which to me is not so common:)

Andrew Fulton said...

Fantastic birds to see... lovely images.

mick said...

Great photos of the ducks. I have read about them but of course never seen them.

Breathtaking said...

They are lovely little ducks, and great images.

Mama Zen said...

They are gorgeous ducks!

Linda W. said...

Love your pic of the mama and her ducklings!

Christian WeiƟ said...

Eiders are wonderful and strange ducks, beautiful photos.

Brian King said...

Very regal looking ducks with those "noses"! I've never seen one in the wild.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Very attractive...I really like their color pattern.

Frank said...

An unmistakeable profile even at very long distance. A great shame you didn't get to see a male in its full finery.

bailey-road.com said...

Great views. Mama has beautiful feathers!

edenhills said...

Love that first top down shot with the feet stuck out.

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures, Stewart.
The third and fourth pictures are my favorite.
Best regards Irma

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

I thought of you when I saw this picture of puffins.
http://www.naturephotoblog.com/index.php?showimage=1484

Pete Shanley said...

Well there you go. As an untravelled Australian male I had never contemplated the origin of the term eiderdown! What a nuff nuff! Educated by Stewart as always!

Pete Shanley said...

Educated, entertained and inspired!!!!

Susan (ABON) said...

Great photos of the ducks, Stewart. Thank you for hosting!

Christian Perrin said...

A handsome duck! The Northern Hemisphere sea-going ducks always intrigue me as our species don't seem to like the saltwater much.

Small City Scenes said...

The overhead pictures are kinda neat. Dapper Dad is quite a bird. MB

A Quiet Corner said...

Never heard of them...until now so thank you for showing this one this week, Stewart!...:)JP

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice Eider views to show the plumage types. UK seems to have a greater economy in the names of birds-- so many have single words as Eider, Blackbird, Sparrow, Buzzard etc.

ladyfi said...

Such pretty bird shots.

Mary Cromer said...

Well they certainly are pretty little ducks. I had heard of Eider down filled coats, but never saw one of them, nor the birds before~

Liz said...

Lovely images, Stewart! I must say, I love my down bed quilt.

Marie said...

Wonderful shots! I loved being able to see the proverbial "duck's back." :-)

babsjeheron said...

Love the photos shot from the high angle, with the ducklings. Wonderful. You know, this may be the first bird your posted that I have actually seen here! A little ah-ha moment when I saw them!

pattisjarrett said...

The Eiders are beautiful. I never knew what they look like.

Pat Tillett said...

They are pretty cool looking with that odd looking beak. Nice photos Stewart.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We saw King Eiders at the SeaLife Center in Seward; it was all Alaska birds and animals, but we never saw one in the actual wild. Before that, Eider was just a crossword puzzle word to me.

Rambling Woods said...

I love waterfowl of all kinds... Thank you for linking into Nature Notes... Michelle

Florence said...

So beautiful! I wonder if down is still used with all the synthetics available now? Anyway, love the mother with the babies!