Common eider


Common eider (Somateria mollissima)

The Common eider (Somateria mollissima) is a large sea duck from the family of birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
English name::
Common Eider
German name:
French name:
Eider à duvet
Scientific name:
Somateria mollissima

Scientific classification




The common eider is both the largest of the four eider species. It is characterized by its bulky shape and large, wedge-shaped bill. The male is unmistakable, with its black and white plumage and green nape. The female is a brown bird, but can still be readily distinguished from all ducks, except other eider species, on the basis of size and head shape. The drake's display call is a strange almost human-like "ah-ooo," while the hen utters hoarse quacks.


The species is often readily approachable.

Lengte man:
The male (drake) of the Common eider measures approximately 50-71 centimeter. The female measures approximately 50-71 centimeter.
Gewicht man:
De man (woerd) heeft een gewicht van 1980-2460 gram. Het gewicht van de vrouw (pop) is 1800-2240 gram.

Drakes of the European, eastern North American and Asia/western North American races can be distinguished by minor differences in plumage and bill colour. Faeroes Eider (faeroeensis), Northern Eider (borealis), Hudson Bay Eider (sedentaria), Dresser's Eider, Atlantic Eider (dresseri). Some authorities place the subspecies v-nigra as a separate species.

  • Somateria mollissima mollissima (Linnaeus, 1758) – Common Eider – breeds from NW Europe E to Novaya Zemlya; winters S to Atlantic coast of France and N Mediterranean Basin.
  • Somateria mollissima faeroeensis C. L. Brehm, 1831 – Faeroe Is, Shetland Is and Orkney Is, and Outer Hebrides (W Scotland).
  • Somateria mollissima borealis (C. L. Brehm, 1824) – breeds in Arctic Atlantic from Groswater Bay (Labrador) N to Southampton I and Baffin I, E through Greenland and Iceland to Franz Josef Land; in winter, around coasts of N Atlantic, reaching Gulf of St Lawrence.
  • Somateria mollissima sedentaria Snyder, 1941 – Hudson Bay and James Bay region.
  • Somateria mollissima dresseri Sharpe, 1871 – breeds in NE North America from Groswater Bay (Labrador) S to Massachusetts; in winter from Gulf of St Lawrence S to Long I, New York.
  • Somateria mollissima v-nigrum Bonaparte & G. R. Gray, 1855 – Pacific Eider – New Siberian Is (NE Siberia) E to NW North America; winters Bering Sea and Aleutian Is.
Nest placement and structure:

The eider's nest is built close to the pond and is lined with eiderdown, plucked from the female's breast. 

Kleur legsel:
Egg clutches:
4-6 eggs
28 days
Ring de jonge large sea duck wanneer deze 0 dagen oud is met een ring van 13 millimeter groot.

Lundi Ibis See Ente Spezial

Geëxtrudeerde drijvende korrels, speciaal voor vogels waarvan de specifieke voedingsbehoeften voornamelijk gericht is op vis zoals de Ibissen, lepelaars, ooievaars, enz. Dit voeder bevat oa. echt zeezout en Spirulina-algen voor een gezonde en onontbeerlijke voeding zoals in de natuur.

Lundi Exquisit

Geëxtrudeerde drijvend speciaalvoeder voor zeevogels met de hoogste voedingsbehoeften. Dit voeder bevat oa. echt zeezout en Spirulina-algen voor een gezonde en onontbeerlijke voeding zoals in de natuur.

Europese soort

The common eider is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Photos of the Common eider

  • Somateria mollissima mollissima (Male)
  • Somateria mollissima mollissima (Female)
  • Somateria mollissima v-nigrum
  • Somateria mollissima v-nigrum (Female)

Videos of the Common eider

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