Common Eider

About the Common Eider

Also known as: Eider Duck, Cuddy's Ducks

The Common Eider is a large sea duck which can be found along the northern coasts of Europe, North America, and eastern Siberia. It breeds in the Arctic, but winters south in large flocks on coastal waters.

Common Eiders are the largest of the four species of eider. They are abundant in North America and Europe (where they are the largest species of duck), with an estimated population of 1.5 to 2-million birds.

Common Eiders build their nests close to the ocean in colonies of up to 10,000 birds or more. Eider nests are lined with eiderdown, soft feathers plucked from the female duck's breast.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 09 January 2009
Scientific Name
Somateria mollissima
  • Anseriformes
  • Anatidae
  • Somateria
  • S. mollissima
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Near Threatened (as of 4 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
20 to 28 inches
41.6 to 107.2 ounces



From IUCN Red List:
The Common Eider is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened. Within Europe it has experienced moderate declines and these have not been compensated for by increases elsewhere in the species's range. Declines are thought to be driven by a range of threats including overharvesting of aquatic resources, pollution, disturbance and hunting. Should the declines be found to be more severe, or new information reveal declines in the S. m. sedentaria and S. m. borealis populations then the species would warrant uplisting; it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criterion A4abcde.

International Names

Czech (Cesky) Kajka Mořská
Danish (Dansk) Edderfugl
Dutch (Nederlands) Eidereend
Finnish (Suomi) Haahka
French (Français) Eider à Duvet
German (Deutsch) Eiderente
Italian (Italiano) Edredone Comune
Japanese (日本語) ホンケワタガモ (Honkewatagamo)
Norwegian (Norsk) Ærfugl
Polish (Polski) Edredon
Portuguese (Português) êider-edredão
Russian (русский язык) Гага обыкновенная
Spanish (Español) Eider Común
Swedish (Svenska) Ejder
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