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Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)

Posted by
Sonja (Wörgl, Austria) on 2 November 2012 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

The Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) is a large (50–71 cm body length) sea-duck that is distributed over the northern coasts of Europe, North America and eastern Siberia. It breeds in Arctic and some northern temperate regions, but winters somewhat farther south in temperate zones, when it can form large flocks on coastal waters. It can fly at speeds up to 113 km/h.

The eider's nest is built close to the sea and is lined with the celebrated eiderdown, plucked from the female's breast. This soft and warm lining has long been harvested for filling pillows and quilts, but in more recent years has been largely replaced by down from domestic farm-geese and synthetic alternatives. Although eiderdown pillows or quilts are now a rarity, eiderdown harvesting continues and is sustainable, as it can be done after the ducklings leave the nest with no harm to the birds.

Panasonic DMC-G1 1/500 second F/1.7 ISO 100 40 mm (35mm equiv.)

This image has been featured in 2 Remix collections.

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Panasonic DMC-G1
1/500 second
ISO 100
40 mm (35mm equiv.)