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Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri


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Steller's Eider, adult male on water
credit: FWS

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Anatidae, Ducks and Geese view all from this family

Description Male has white head, with black eye patch and chin, lime green topknot, black stern, and black flight feathers; upperparts are otherwise white with black lines and underparts are tinged orange-buff with black spot on flanks. Female is rather uniformly brown.

Dimensions Length: 17-18 1/2" (43-47 cm)

Endangered Status The Steller's Eider is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as threatened in Alaska. This duck is still plentiful worldwide, but its overall numbers have declined since the 1960s, and the Alaska breeding population has seen a drastic reduction. Little is known about this eider, and the reasons for its decline remain a mystery.

Habitat High Arctic Alaskan breeder, winters around Aleutians.

Range Alaska

Discussion Compact seaduck with a dainty bill.