Common Eider

About the Common Eider
Also known as: Eider Duck, Cuddy's Ducks
Common Eider

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.

Find cute products & gifts with our Birdorable Common Eider
Common Eider Photos

Details & Statistics


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

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Related Articles

Baby Birdorable: Common Eider

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Common Eider. Common Eiders line their nests with fine, soft down. The eggs are incubated for about 25 days and the...  Read more »

The Birdorable Common Eider

The Common Eider is the first new species that we're adding to Birdorable in 2009. It is a beautiful bird with some striking features. The male is unmistakable with its black and white plumage and green nape. You can find this...  Read more »