King Eider

The species name, spectabilis, is Latin for “showy” or “remarkable,” referencing the attractiveness of the adult male’s plumage.
King Eider Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Somateria spectabilis
King Eider Physical Characteristics
Brown, Red, Black, Green, Orange, Light Grey
800,000 to 900,000
9 years
Top speed
40 mph
3.4 to 3.6 pounds
King Eider Distribition

The king eider ( Somateria spectabilis) is a huge sea duck populating Arctic expanse environments over 3 continents. These ducks are very social and singing birds that invest their days diving undersea for mollusks and various other aquatic animals. Because of their recommended atmosphere, this species deals with numerous dangers, consisting of oil spills and changing environments. Figure out whatever there is to find out about the king eider, consisting of where it lives, what it consumes, and just how it acts.

5 Fantastic King Eider Realities

  • King eider males have big plates over their costs, which produce a lump in their temple.
  • They can fly approximately 40 miles per hour!
  • They provide dove- like telephone calls when dating.
  • These ducks eat intrusive animals like zebra mussels in the Terrific Lakes.
  • They forage for food in big groups, all diving undersea all at once.

Where to Locate the King Eider

King eiders reside in The United States and Canada, Europe, and Asia in over 25 nations, consisting of Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, and the USA. They reproduce in Arctic expanse environments in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and Russia and winter months in Below- Arctic aquatic locations near the Bering Sea, Norway, Scotland, and Eastern Canada. In the USA, you can locate them in winter months along the Northeastern shore, as much north as Maine and as southern as Virginia.

King Eider Nest

Their nesting website gets on increased, completely dry ground near a water resource. The nest itself includes a superficial clinical depression in the planet, which females line with down and plant product.

Scientific Name

The king eider (Somateria spectabilis) comes from the Anseriformes orders in the Anatidae family, that includes ducks, geese, and swans. The Somateria genus incorporates the eiders, big sea ducks that reproduce in cooler areas of the north hemisphere. The genus name is Greek for “wooly body” and describes its well-known thick, soft down. The certain name, spectabilis, is Latin for “snazzy” or “amazing,” referencing the appearance of the man’s tuft. The king eider is monotypic, indicating there are no acknowledged subspecies.

Dimension, Appearance & Habits

A King Eider Duck Swimming
Determining in between 20 and 28 inches, with a 34- to 40- inch wingspan, the king eider is a huge duck.Agami Picture Agency/Shutterstock. com

The king eider is a huge sea duck, gauging 20 to 28 inches and considering 3.4 to 3.6 extra pounds, with a 34- to 40- inch wingspan. They have stocky builds with brief, thick necks and brief, hefty costs. Males have a huge plate over their expense, developing a lump in their temple. Females have a mild incline. Men have a light blue- grey head, light eco-friendly cheeks, largely black bodies, orange temple plates described in black, and red costs. Females are rustic brownish with complex black patterns and black costs. Adolescent males are dark brownish with white breasts and orange costs.

This species is very social, reproducing with numerous companions and taking a trip and foraging with big groups. Nevertheless, reproducing males are much more singular as they protect their nesting locations. Like various other ducks, king eiders are reasonably singing birds. Their alarm system calls seem like reduced phonies, and they provide dove- like telephone calls when dating. Their various other articulations consist of groaning, croaking, roaring, and murmuring. These birds are solid fliers, getting to quicken to 40 miles per hour!

Movement Pattern and Timing

King eiders are brief to tool- range travelers. They reproduce on the Arctic shore of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Russia. And they invest their winter seasons in below- frozen aquatic locations like the Bering Sea, Scotland, Norway, Eastern Canada, and the Northeastern USA.


King eiders are omnivores that eat aquatic animals and marine plants, investing a lot of their time diving for food mixed-up.

What Does the King Eider Eat?

Their diet modifications seasonally, however they largely eat mollusks. They additionally take in shellfishes, insects, sea urchins, starfish, algae, sea snails, mussels, scallops, clams, spider crabs, and numerous various other species. King eiders additionally eat intrusive species like zebra mussels in the Terrific Lakes. They forage for food mixed-up by diving undersea, greater than 150 feet listed below the surface area. They might feed alone or in big groups, all diving all at once.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes the king eider as LC or “least concern.” Because of its substantial array and considerable population, this species does not satisfy the “intimidated” standing limits. Nevertheless, they still deal with numerous threats. Their most significant dangers consist of searching, oil spills, and environment changing from environment modification. A lot of waterfowl death takes place within the very first 2 weeks of life when their young are at risk to climate condition, predation, and food schedule.

What Consumes the King Eider?

King eider predators consist of Arctic foxes, minks, ravens, gulls, and skuas. Female king eiders utilize their varicolored brownish tinting to assimilate with their atmospheres and camouflage their eggs. Males and females might additionally execute danger display screens towards their species or various other birds.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

King eiders develop seasonal set bonds prior to the springtime movement to the reproducing premises. Their courtship display screens consist of soft telephone calls, grooming, wing waving, and posturing. Males might mate with numerous females. Females lay approximately 4 to 5 olive- tinted eggs and nurture them alone for 22 to 24 days. The young fledge the nest soon after hatching out, however their mom often tends to them, together with various other females and their broods. King eiders end up being sexually fully grown around 2 to 3 years and live approximately 9 years. Nevertheless, they can measure up to 24 years.


The worldwide king eider population is approximated to number 800,000 to 900,000 fully grown people. Their total population fad is lowering, however not at a quick sufficient price to endanger their species. The United States and Canada has actually seen a mild, unimportant boost in its numbers over the last 40 years.


  1. IUCN Red List, Available here:
  2. Oppel, Steffen; Powell, Abby N.; Dickson, D. Lynne, Available here:
  3. Anderson, Vanessa R.; Alisauskas, Ray T., Available here:

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