King Eider hunting Alaska and King Eider Hunting on the East Coast.
There are four species of Eider Sea Ducks. OSO offers Sea duck hunting for one of the four species, the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima). King Eider venture out our way into New England on occasion, how ever these beautiful majestic birds do not show up enough for us to set out a spread of decoys and hunt. However we do hunt for King Eider!
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
The Common Eider is characterized by its bulky shape and large, wedge-shaped bill. The male is unmistakable, with its black and white plumage and green nape. The female is a brown bird, but can still be readily distinguished from all ducks, except other eider-species, on the basis of size and head shape. This duck’s call is a pleasant “ah-ooo.” The species is often readily approachable.
King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)
King Eider winters in arctic and subarctic marine areas, most notably in the Bering Sea, the west coast of Greenland, eastern Canada and northern Norway. It also occurs annually off the northeastern United States, Scotland and Kamchatka. Breeding areas include the Arctic coastal tundra of the north coast of Alaska. This species dives for benthic invertebrates like crustaceans, polychaete worms, and molluscs, with mussels being a favoured food. Wintering birds can form large flocks on suitable coastal waters, with some flocks exceeding 100,000 birds.
This species is smaller than Common Eider. The male is unmistakable with its black body, white breast and multicoloured head. The drake’s call is a deep cooing.
Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)
The Spectacled Eider is slightly smaller than the Common Eider at 52–57 cm in length. The male is unmistakable with its black body, white back, and yellow-green head with the large circular white eye patches which give the species its name. The drake’s call is a weak crooning, and the female’s a harsh croak.
This species dives for crustaceans and molluscs. The winter range is poorly known, but satellite tracking has led to observations of large flocks of the birds about 100 km southwest of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea during March-April. This area has large populations of bivalves in the underlying sediments at depths of about 60 m that the ducks dive to feed on.
The Spectacled Eider is listed in the US as a Federally Threatened species, and is unhuntable.
Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri)The Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri) is a medium-large sea duck, which breeds along the Arctic coasts of eastern Siberia and Alaska. The lined nest is built on tundra close to the sea, and 6-10 eggs are laid.
It winters somewhat further south in the Bering Sea, northern Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. It can form large flocks, up to 200,000 birds on suitable coastal waters. It is scarce south of its wintering range.
This species dives for crustaceans and molluscs, with mussels being a favoured food.
This species is the smallest eider. The male is unmistakable with its black upperparts and neck collar, white head and yellowish underparts. The drake’s call is a deep crooning, although it is relatively quiet compared to the Somateria eiders.
The female is a dark brown bird, smaller with a more typically duck-shaped head and body than other eider species. She also has a repertoire of grunts and whistles.
This bird is named after the German naturalist Georg Steller.
Eider Sea duck hunting|hunting Eider|Eider hunting Guide