Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Near Threatened

Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)


French: Eider à lunettes German: Plüschkopfente Spanish: Éider de anteojos

Fuligula (Lampronetta) Fischeri

J. F. Brandt

, 1847,

St Michael, Alaska


Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Lampronetta. Monotypic.


Breeds along coasts of N Siberia from Lena Delta E to N & W Alaska. Winters among sea ice in Bering Sea between St Lawrence I and St Matthew I, centred mainly at about 62°00’ N, 173°00’ W.

Descriptive notes

50–58 cm; male 1275–1750 g, female 1125–1850 g. Male unmistakable in breeding plumage, with green crown and nape, long sloping forehead, large white ‘... read more


No male calls described, but female gives two different vocalizations during breeding season: a... read more


Breeds on small lakes, pools, bogs and streams of subarctic and Arctic tundra, generally within... read more

Food and feeding

Chiefly benthic invertebrates, especially Macoma clams and gastropods (snails) during breeding season and, particularly in summer... read more


Arrives in breeding areas May/Jun; subarctic nesting areas generally become accessible by third week of May and Arctic sites by second week... read more


Winter quarters recently confirmed (via satellite telemetry) to lie in NC Bering Sea area, the... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Total world population estimated at c. 200,000 breeding birds, or c. 400,000 individuals, in early to mid 1970s... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri). 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 on 7 December 2019).