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The Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri), one of four types of eider ducks, is a marine bird residing in arctic and sub-arctic regions. This sea duck spends most of its time in shallow coastal waters though will move inland, in cases over 200 miles, to breed. There are three breeding populations currently recognised – two in Russia (Atlantic and Pacific populations) and one in Alaska. The Alaskan breeding population is predominantly found on the Arctic Coastal Plain (northern Alaska) centered around Barrow though a very small sub-population of breeders is found in western Alaska on the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta. It is estimated that there are over 150 000 birds in the Russia-Pacific population, some 30 000 to 50 000 in the Russia-Atlantic population, and around 10 000 in Alaska.
The stellers eider body boldly patterned in black, white, and buffy, and its white head with green and black markings, the fancy male in breeding plumage is unmistakable. In all other plumages, however, Steller’s Eider looks rather like a small, plain, dark-brown dabbling duck. The best clues to its identity are its short neck and flat-topped head. Unlike the other eider species, it has no feathering on the bill.To see more pics......