King Eider (Somateria spectabilis)

The King Eider is a species of sea duck found in the Arctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. It is the largest of all eider species, with male birds weighing up to 4.4 pounds, while females are slightly smaller. The King Eider is known for its striking and colorful appearance, with males sporting a distinctive plumage during the breeding season that consists of a black head, white neck, and vibrant orange beak and legs. The female birds, on the other hand, are less colorful and have mottled brown feathers.

King Eiders are social birds that typically form large flocks and are known for their unique vocalizations during courtship and nesting periods. They communicate with one another through a series of grunts, quacks, and soft whistles. During the breeding season, male King Eiders will perform elaborate courtship displays in attempt to woo female birds.

King Eiders are known to be hardy birds and are adapted to survive in harsh Arctic environments. They feed primarily on invertebrates found in the water, such as clams, mussels, and crustaceans. The birds also have a specialized gland known as a salt gland, which allows them to excrete excess salt from their bodies, helping them to conserve water in their arid environments.

The King Eider is not considered to be endangered, but the species is facing a number of threats due to environmental changes. Climate change, pollution, and habitat loss caused by human activities are all contributing to declines in the population of King Eider birds. In addition, the birds are sometimes hunted for their meat and feathers by indigenous people living in the Arctic regions.

Overall, the King Eider is a fascinating species of sea duck with a unique set of adaptations that allow it to survive in the harsh Arctic environment. While the species is not currently facing any immediate threats of extinction, it is important that we continue to monitor and protect their habitats in order to ensure their long-term survival.

Other names

Somateria spectabilis



King Eider

èider reial



krasna gavka

kajka královská




Eider à tête grise


Re degli edredoni


skiauterėtoji gaga


(edredon) turkan



Kraljevska gavka

kajka hrbozobá

Éider real


Süslü Pufla

пухівка горбатодзьоба


cifra pehelyréce


krāšņā pūkpīle


pisana gaga