King Eider

Somateria spectabilis

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

KIEI

Code 6

SOMSPE

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The King Eider is native to North America as well as portions of Europe. It is also a visitor to other parts of the world. The range of the King Eider is about 1 million square kilometers. The population of this bird species is about 4.5 million individuals. The prior rating of the King Eider was Lower Risk. This rating was downgraded to Least Concern in 2004. The population and range of the King Eider is considered to be sufficiently large and stable enough at this point to warrant no concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

King Eider: Large diving duck with black body and white breast, back. The crown and nape are pale blue; distinct bill is orange-red, sweeping upward into a large, orange basal knob outlined in black. Wings are black with large white patches visible in flight. Tail has white patches at the base.


Range and Habitat

King Eider: Breeds in the Canadian Arctic, coastal Greenland, northern Alaska, and Siberia. On the Atlantic coast, spends winters south to Virginia but rarely beyond On the Pacific coast, winters on the southern Alaska coast and the Aleutian archipelago. Preferred habitats are rocky coasts and open ocean; nests on inland freshwater lakes and ponds.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"urrr-urrr-URR"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The King Eider was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist.
  • They often dive far for food and have been caught in nets as deep as 150 feet below the surface.
  • When an intruder is present, the female sits low on the nest with her head flattened on the ground. She sits tightly on the eggs and sometimes can be touched or picked up off of the nest.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for King Eider

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X