Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards, Breeding adult male.
Nest site is on ground near water, on open tundra or surrounded by low scrub.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. The Steller's eider is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. Visit your local Audubon center, join a chapter, or help save birds with your state program. Diet at sea is mostly mollusks and crustaceans, but also echinoderms, polychaete worms, small fish. Young: Leave nest shortly after hatching and go to water. The bill, legs and feet are blue-gray.
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Olive buff. Flies in tightly packed flocks, and often feeds in compact groups as well. The Steller’s eider is flightless for about 3 weeks each year while it molts. In breeding season on low-lying tundra with many lakes and ponds, often some distance inland. Photo: Mick Thompson/Flickr (CC-BY-NC-2.0). In the United States and Russia their population is listed as threatened. Nest, built by female, is shallow depression lined with bits of plant material and large amounts of down. The global population is estimated to have declined approximately 50 percent (400,000 to 220,000) since the 1960s. Sergei Shushunov & Russian Hunting, LLC will organize expeditions for bird collectors to practically any part of the region, including White sea and Arctic ocean shores, Pacific provinces, Siberia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. The Steller’s Eider is subject to hunting pressure on the moulting grounds, but several other threats involved rapid declines of populations. Many birds sought after by collectors are unique to Russia, or are found in much higher numbers in Russia than elsewhere. Coasts, ocean. Female tends young, but young find all their own food. Most of world's population (from Alaska and Siberia) winters in southern Bering Sea, although some go west to winter off northern Scandinavia. It winters at northern latitudes in areas remote from hunters and wildlife observers. There is an active recovery plan in Alaska.
Sport hunting for this species was closed in 1991. 2 or more broods of young sometimes join under care of 1 or more females. The Atlantic population breeds in western Siberia. Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future. The breeding range of the Steller's eider is divided into two separate regions: Atlantic and Pacific. Average weight: M 1.9 lbs., F 1.9 lbs.
They also occasionally feed on pondweeds and eelgrass. The decline of breeding in Alaska led to listing this population as Threatened in July 1997. The smallest of the eiders. Lone Steller's will sometimes associate with flocks of Harlequin Ducks or other divers. Let us send you the latest in bird and conservation news. Steller's eiders are the least abundant of the eider species. The Alaskan population has dropped sharply in recent decades, but the causes for this decline are not well understood. The Steller’s eider (Polysticta stelleri) is one such species.
In summer, may forage in shallow water by wading or swimming, with head submerged or dabbling at surface. Russia is a true game bird collector’s paradise. Common and king eiders are hunted as they fly north along the ice edge in the spring, and then again along the coast in the fall as they migrate south. When foraging on the sea, all the birds in a flock may dive at the same time. Egging and subsistence hunting of Steller’s eiders is minimal in Alaska. Email Us, Board of Fisheries and Game: Actions & Activities, Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS), About the Division of Commercial Fisheries, Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Program (WASSIP), Online General Season & Registration Permits, Subsistence and Personal Use Fishing Permits, CSIS – Community Subsistence Information System, The Technical Papers and Special Publications Series, Northern Sea Otter The species is listed as Vulnerable. Migrates in flocks. A small remnant population also breeds on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska. Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. • Hunting in winter quarters - unknown (probably medium/low) • Habitat loss and physical development on breeding grounds and adjacent coastal areas - unknown (potential serious threat) • Disturbance on breeding grounds - unknown . More agile than the others in flight, and less clumsy on land; floats buoyantly on the water, often with its tail cocked up. The majority of the Pacific population breeds along the Arctic coast of Russia and the north slope of Alaska.
The wing resembles that of a wigeon, but the white shoulder patch is larger and is bordered by a blue rather than a green speculum. For much of the year Steller's Eiders forage rather like a dabbling duck on worms, snails, crustaceans, seeds, and insect larvae—the heavy, broad bill is a hint to this foraging style. The chest is chestnut, and the side of the breast is marked with a circular black spot.
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