Somateria mollissima


Eider Ducks are relatively large seaducks which nest in colonies around the coasts of northern Britain, as far south as Walney Island in Cumbria. Once hatched, the chicks gather together in a large 'cr

How to identify

The male Eider is a black and white duck with a beautiful pale green patch at the back of the head, pinkish breast and pale, yellow-grey bill. Females are greyish-brown with delicate barring.

Where to find it

A common nesting bird around the coasts of Scotland and northern England, the Eider winters all around the coast.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The large wintering numbers of Eider make this species an Amber List bird. To ensure that we keep the populations of these colourful ducks, and others like them, healthy, it is important that our marine environment is managed properly. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Somateria mollissima
Length: 55-60cm Wingspan: 94cm Weight: 2.2kg Average Lifespan: 18 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.