King Eider

About the King Eider

The King Eider is a large species of sea duck that breeds around Arctic waters in both the New World and Old World. These hardy birds spend most of their time at sea, only coming to land for breeding and raising chicks.

Male King Eiders in breeding plumage have a lot going on – they’re impossible to misidentify. From their pale blue crown and nape, to the iridescent light green cheeks, to the dapper black and buffy white body plumage, they stand out in a crowd (or a flock). In addition, the black-framed yellow-orange frontal lobe and ornamental triangles formed by special wing feathers make summer males extraordinary to see.

King Eiders feed on aquatic invertebrates, utilizing both diving and dabbling foraging techniques, depending the time of year and habitat.
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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 23 December 2020
Scientific Name
Somateria spectabilis
  • Anseriformes
  • Anatidae
  • Somateria
  • S. spectabilis
Birdorable Family
Units: Imperial / Metric
18.5 to 25.2 inches
42.3 to 74.1 ounces

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 王绒鸭
Czech (Cesky) kajka královská
Danish (Dansk) Kongeederfugl
Dutch (Nederlands) Koningseider
Finnish (Suomi) kyhmyhaahka
French (Français) Eider à tête grise
German (Deutsch) Prachteiderente
Italian (Italiano) Re degli edredoni
Japanese (日本語) ケワタガモ (kewatagamo)
Korean (한국어) 호사북방오리
Norwegian (Norsk) Praktærfugl
Polish (Polski) turkan
Portuguese (Português) Eider-real
Russian (русский язык) Гага-гребенушка
Spanish (Español) Eider Real
Swedish (Svenska) praktejder
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