KING EIDER Somateria spectabilis

An Arctic breeder, circumpolar including coasts of Greenland, but with a few gaps in distribution such as Northern Scandinavia and Hudson Bay. Sporadic breeding occurs in these places, and all birds winter to the south, but often stay within the Arctic Circle. Huge flocks may occur at moult sites and wintering areas, but strays are common and often associate with Common Eider flocks. Such birds may return to the same sites every year, or stay and attempt to breed with the Eiders, and there are usually a few in Scotland, especially Shetland, at all times. All the birds here are taken in the UK, females seem much rarer but this may be because they separate after breeding, or they are simply overlooked.

Click on the photo to return to "ducks" or here for HOMEPAGE