Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Vulnerable

Steller's Eider (Polysticta stelleri)


Taxonomy

French: Eider de Steller German: Scheckente Spanish: Éider menor
Taxonomy:

Anas Stelleri

Pallas

, 1769,

Kamchatka

.

Thought to have hybridized with Somateria mollissima#R. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Breeds on Arctic coasts of N Alaska W to Yamal Peninsula, Siberia; occasionally farther W, to extreme N Norway#R. Winters from S Alaska and Bering Sea S to N Japan, NE Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea.

Descriptive notes

43–48 cm; male 690–1010 g, female 625–970 g; wingspan 70–76 cm. The most Anas-like of the eiders due to its comparatively small size, lesser... read more

Voice

Male is considered to be relatively silent compared to other eiders (Somateria), but... read more

Habitat

Breeds on Arctic pools, small lakes, rivers and tundra bogs, favouring moss-lichen polygonal tundra... read more

Food and feeding

Chiefly molluscs, crustaceans and other marine invertebrates (worms, echinoderms), small fish and freshwater insects and larvae. In Alaska... read more

Breeding

Starts Jun/Jul, with first arrivals (already paired) on breeding grounds in early Jun and most birds reaching the nesting areas in mid Jun... read more

Movements

Migratory, with movements of up to 3000 km for moulting purposes: subadults first to moult,... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Common, locally abundant species with total world population estimated at c. 500,000 birds in early 1970s, but more recently at 110,000–125,000 individuals... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Steller's Eider (Polysticta stelleri). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52917 on 23 August 2017).