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Birds by name
Conservation status: Amber
The UK's heaviest duck, and its fastest flying. It is a true seaduck, rarely found away from coasts where its dependence on coastal molluscs for food has brought it into conflict with mussel farmers. Eiders are highly gregarious and usually stay close inshore, riding the swell in a sandy bay or strung out in long lines out beyond the breaking waves. It is an Amber List species because of its winter concentrations.
Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)
In the breeding season, eiders are best looked for from the Northumberland coast northwards and off the west coast of Scotland. They are found in the same areas in winter and also further south on the Yorkshire coast and around the east and south coast as far a Cornwall. Befast Lough is a N Ireland stronghold and some are also found off the Welsh coast.
All year round in breeding areas. On coasts to the south of the breeding range, birds can be seen from autumn and stay there for the winter.
Shellfish, especially mussels.
* UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn.
Please note that the map is only intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
Ruud van Beusekom, Xeno-canto
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