Spectacled Eider

Scientific Name: Somateria fischeri

The Spectacled Eider is a northern sea duck closely associated with Alaskan waters.  In contrast to the Common Eider; which occurs in vast flocks, this bird has never been located in large numbers, and it is apparently relatively uncommon throughout its range.  Spectacled Eiders combine the attributes of dabbling ducks and diving ducks in that they feed on insect larvae and plants on thier nesting ponds while diving for mullosks in coastal waters.   Interestingly, thier whereabouts during the winter are still unknown.

Drakes have a distinctive pale green head, yellow bill, and large spectacle-like white eye-patch rimmed in black.  The male’s body is largely white above  and black below.  Females are mottled brown with a light buff spectacle.  In both sexes the large bill is partially feathered.

Breeds on northern and western Alaska

(reference: National Audubon Society Pocket Guide)


Pacific Flyway

Alaska Trophy Adventures, Capt Charlie Summerville