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Eider duck (female)

Somateria mollissima


Common eider female guarding her nest (which is more a hole in the ground than a nest by traditional means). The common eider shows strong sexual dimorphism. Where the males are ornate in yellows, black, white and greens the females have nearly perfected camouflage with their speckled browns, mottled greys and black plumage. In fact they are so well camouflaged against the dry brown/grey ground ifound in the Spitsbergen summer that I nearly stepped on this one.


Marine duck, found near estuaries and other marine environments where they feed on molluscs and crustaceans.


Eiders are colonial breeders and this one was no exception. Photo number two gives an impression of a fraction of the group, that had chosen to set up shop (so to speak) right next to the estuary and wedged between the two only dog yards found in Spitsbergen.

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Elsa 11 years ago

Haha I see where you're coming from. These ducks meant business!

ErickDuarte 11 years ago

What a serious-looking duck. I never though I'd say/write that.

Elsa 11 years ago

Thank you Rob, and thank you Marta! I had a break, and now have a bit of a backlog of images to upload.. Good to be back!

The MnMs
The MnMs 11 years ago

Nice you are back with nice pics, Elsa!

Spotted by


Spotted on Jun 18, 2012
Submitted on Aug 13, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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