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Eider Somateria mollissima L 50-70cm. Bulky seaduck with distinctive profile: wedge-shaped bill forms continuous line with slope of forehead. Gregarious for most of year. In summer, female flocks supervise ‘creche’ of youngsters. Sexes are dissimilar. Adult male has mainly black underparts and white upperparts, except for black cap, lime green nape and pinkish flush on breast. In eclipse, plumage is brown and black, with some white feathers on back, and pale stripe above eye. Adult female is brown with darker barring. Juvenile is similar to adult female but with pale stripe above eye. Voice Male utters endearing, cooing ah-whooo. Status Almost exclusively coastal. Nests close to seashore and feeds in inshore waters, diving for prey such as mussels.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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