|Common Name||King Eider|
|Scientific Name||Somateria spectabilis|
|Type of Report||Rare Species|
|Date of Observation||11/14/2017|
|Number Observed||2 (report is for IMMATURE MALE only)|
|Reporting Observer's Name||Alison Wagner|
|Mailing Address||111 Highland Drive|
Huntington, VT 05462
|Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers|
|Latitude of Observation||44°03'16.4"N|
|Longitude of Observation||73°24'58.9"W|
|Place Name||DAR State Park|
|Vermont eBird Checklist URL||ebird.org|
|Time of Day||02:06 PM|
|Length of Time Observed||2 hours, 15 minutes|
|Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)||3,000|
|Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)||1,500|
|Noteworthy Weather Conditions|
As best as I can remember, it was partly sunny, cool and breezy.
|Optical Equipment Used for Observation|
Kowa on 60 power to start, then 20.
|Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species|
I had been studying the female eider at The Champlain Bridge until about 1:30 PM, with Ted Murin (who sent a report for the female). We both stayed on her as she flew north and settled at DAR. This was the first time I had seen a female King Eider. I had not seen an immature male previously. I had seen a mature male once in Mass.
|I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event.|
|Description of Habitat|
Both birds were in center of lake, near Long-tailed Ducks, Scaups, Loons, and Scoters.
While resting on the water, both birds seemed to “hold” their wings slightly up, versus laying flat against their backs. This created a sort of demarcation or space between their backs and the wings. Also, just before diving, both birds would lift and spread their wings slightly, giving the observers the impression they might take flight. The two birds stayed close together for most of the observation. At one point, the female seemed to make an aggressive move toward the second duck, which scurried a short distance away.
|Description of Vocalizations|
|Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation|
Ted Murin and I watched the female eider fly and eventually settle on the water, about two miles north, at DAR. About a half hour later, Steve, Aubrey and I located the ducks and noticed the two stayed close to each other. We focused on the female first, checking off field marks as she moved in the water and different angles/sunlight revealed her markings. Then we turned our attention to the duck that was with her. Initially we were are baffled, as field markings did not match any scoter. We commented on how this duck did not look like any duck we would expect to find on the lake. Eventually, Aubrey resorted to an app and that is when we all realized there was a second King Eider!
|Relative Size & Shape|
It was same size as the female eider and did not have field marks consistent for any scoters. It was the same size, shape, and profile as the female and seemed to “sit low and appear portly” in the water like the female, giving us the impression it was a heavy bird.
Roundish, dark head and thick neck. Slope from forehead to bill tip different than common eider. Bill appeared concave, also unlike a Common Eider bill. Dingy white chin.
|Feet & Bill|
Smallish concave orange/yellow bill, slightly unturned. The bill extended high onto its forehead, but not like a common eider.
Dark upper back
|Lower Back & Rump|
Dark like back and head.
|Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts|
Breast was dingy white. Did not observe under tail coverts or belly.
did not observe.
|IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?|
Eliminated all scoters as field markings and size did not fit. Because it stayed close to the female, it was obvious that it was also an eider as aside from the plumage, the birds were nearly identical. These ducks dwarfed the Long-tailed Ducks that were nearby.
|Other Notes & Comments|
The King Eiders have remained on the lake in this location for two weeks (as I write this). Many people have seen the pair and have come to the same conclusion that these are female and immature male King Eider.
|This report was written from notes taken:||Immediately After|