Spectacled eider


Spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri)

The Spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri) is a sea duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
English name:
Spectacled eider
German name:
French name:
Eider à lunettes
Scientific name:
Somateria fischeri

Scientific classification




The spectacled eider is slightly smaller than the common eider.

Prominent black-rimmed white oval eye patches('spectacles') on greenish head shaggy at sides and back. Chin to upper breast, mantle, upperwing-converts, and inner flight feathers and round patch on side of rump white; lower breast to undertail –converts , tail and main flight feathers dark brown- or grey- black. In – flight , upper – and underwings white on front, dark behind. Bill orange. Iris Sky baby Blue. Legs and Feet dull yellowish- brown. 

Eclipse Plumage- Overall grey to grey-black , with grey-brown head and darker grey spectacles. White on wing retained only on primary converts , rest Turing grey –brown .

Dull brown, only lightly marked with black. Head paler grey-brown, with large, round eye patches buff, boarded in front with darker brown , with large, round eye patches buff, boarded in front with darker brown. Bill grey; legs and feet yellowish brown. Iris Sky baby Blue. 

Darker above than female; paler below, heavily barred blackish. Spectacles smaller and less distinct. Male plumage appears from autumn, but not fully adult bird until 3rd winter. 


During most of year forages at sea by diving and swimming underwater, propelled mainly by feet. Supposedly able to remain submerged longer than most diving ducks. On tundra in summer may forage by dabbling in shallow water or by walking on land.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Spectacled eider measures approximately 52-57 centimeters. The female measures approximately 52-57 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 1500-1850 gram. The female will weight about 1400-1800 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

Spend most of the year in marine waters, where they feed primarily on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. 
In spring, breeding pairs move to nesting areas on wet coastal tundra and establish nests near shallow ponds or lakes. During the spring season they feed by dabbling in ponds and wetlands, eating aquatic insects, crustaceans, and vegetation. 


Seaducks are generally winter-hardy and sociable. They are preferably kept on a large area of clean, cold, deep water, at least some of which (preferably half the area) should be more than 60cm and preferably more than1m deep. As with other diving ducks, most species are relatively ungainly on land and ponds should have shallow sloping banks. Some cover along the pond edges will generally be appreciated. Preferred nesting sites vary greatly within this group, from open ground nesting to thick vegetation and tree holes.

Diets of grain, pellets fish and seafood may be used, also bread. These ducks generally need a higher-protein diet than most waterfowl species and high-protein pelleted diets specifically designed for seaducks are now available, although supplementation with fish may still be important particularly for breeding.

Feeding in troughs containing stones may avoid the development of overgrown bills. Provision of salt water may decrease the incidence of fungal and other infections.

Ducklings may be given high-protein starter crumbs and live food, and provided with access to deep water for swimming from an early age.

Eiders should be provided with clean, deep, cold water, with ice-free water available in winter, and may be best kept as flocks rather than as individual pairs. They will eat large quantities of fish if it is offered. They are prone to Foreign Body Ingestion while searching for grit, and are also susceptible to heat stress and to Aspergillosis.

Spectacled eiders have been kept in only small numbers and bred rarely in captivity. Open and close ground cover should be available for nesting, with egg laying mainly May to June.

The female Spectacled eider usually lays from 5-9 Olive buff eggs and incubates them for 24-25 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 24-25 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.

Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Spectacled eider is 12 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young sea duck at around 12-14 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Lundi Micro 45
Lundi Micro 45
Lundi Micro 45
Lundi Micro 45

The best floatable special rearing feed from Lundi. This ideally balanced complete feed with 42% protein forms the perfect basis for the successful rearing of your ducks. The ducks grow well and have their perfect juvenile plumage after a short time.
Made exclusively from wholesome and selected raw materials, Lundi Micro 45 is also ideally suited for year-round feeding of waterfowl.

Maintenance food:
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit
Lundi Exquisit

Floatable special complete food for sea birds with the highest nutritional requirements. Each chunk contains the complete nutrient spectrum. The high protein content of 35% ensures a healthy and species-appropriate diet. Spiral algae give a more magnificent coloration of plumage and sea salt promotes the salt gland.

Lundi Ibis See-Ente special
Lundi Ibis See-Ente special
Lundi Ibis See-Ente special
Lundi Ibis See-Ente special

Floating special complete food for sea birds with the highest nutritional requirements thanks to a particularly high protein content of 45%.

Ideal for daily feeding in animals that eat a lot of protein in their natural habitat. A must for "fish eaters".

Photos of the Spectacled eider

Videos of the Spectacled eider