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Steller's Eider - BirdForum Opus

Photo by richyrara
Varangerfjord, Norway, May 2004
Polysticta stelleri


Breeding Male

  • Black back
  • White shoulders
  • Chestnut breast and belly
  • White head with a greenish tuft
  • Small black eye patches

Non-breeding: mottled dark brown
Females and juvenile: mottled dark brown. Female has a light eye-ring

Photo by steinn
Vadsø, Varanger, Norway, April 2005

Adults of both sexes have a blue patch with a white border on the upper wing.


Arctic coasts of eastern Siberia and Alaska. It winters Bering Sea, northern Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Shallow, near-shore marine waters.


Photo by the late Jim Wood
Batsford Norway, March 2009

A diving duck


It builds a lined nest on tundra close to the sea. The clutch consists of 6-10 eggs.


The diet includes mussels, crustaceans and molluscs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. US Fish & Wildlife Service

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