Somateria spectabilis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Anseriformes > Anatidae
This handsome seaduck is a scarce visitor from its northern breeding grounds. Although it may be recorded at any time of year, most records are from northern Britain in the winter months.
The female King Eider does not feed very often during the three week incubation period. One female was not observed to leave her nest for seven days, until being flushed by an Arctic Fox.
King Eider identification is usually straightforward.
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Status and Trends
Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.
King Eiders are scarce vagrants but several individuals winter most years, usually associated with Eider flocks and often in northern Britain.
Occupied 10-km squares in UK
|No. occupied in winter||23|
|% occupied in winter||0.8|
European Distribution Map
This vagrant has been recorded in several atlases so we have been able to map distribution changes. However, as a rarity these may not show a consistent pattern of change.
|% change in range in winter (1981–84 to 2007–11)||+120%|
King Eider is a scarce vagrant, with many records relating to long-staying individuals that may be seen in almost any month of the year.
Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.
Lifecycle and body size information about King Eider, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.
Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.
|Field Codes||2-letter: KE | 5-letter code: KINEI | Euring: 2070|
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