Noticeably smaller than true eiders, about the size of a mallard. Body length 42–47 cm, wingspan 69–77 cm, weight of males 0.5–1.0 kg, females 0.45–0.7 kg.
Males in breeding plumage have golden ocher chest and belly, separated by a black collar from the white head. On the back of the head there is a small dense crest with a two-color green-black spot, black spots are around the eyes and on the chin. There is a small green spot in front of the eye. The undertail, tail, upper tail and back are black with a bluish tint; large white longitudinal stripes are visible on the black feathers of the shoulder blades and tertiary flight feathers. In a flying bird, white mantles are striking, which in a bird sitting on the water are hidden by the plumage of the sides of the body.
The female is darker than the females of true eiders, painted in brown tones with a transverse pattern. From a distance, the head looks dark brown, white glasses stand out around the eyelids. A bright blue mirror with two wide white borders is clearly visible.
In the summer feather, the male differs from the female only in white mantles; young birds are somewhat lighter than females and have dull mirrors. The crest in females, young birds, and males in summer feathers is significantly smaller than in males in breeding plumage. Underwings are light; legs and beak are bluish-gray in birds of both sexes.
The nesting area covers the tundra and the Arctic coasts of Siberia and Alaska. Presumably nests on Novaya Zemlya. Winters in non-freezing areas of the Arctic seas and in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. In recent decades, large wintering accumulations have formed in the non-freezing areas of the Baltic, where thousands of birds are recorded, migration is observed in the Gulf of Finland and in the White Sea. During the migration period, it is possible to fly to the inland water bodies of central Russia.
Sources of information
Complete guide to birds of the European part of Russia / Edited by Doctor of Biological Sciences. M. V. Kalyakina: In 3 parts. - Part 1. M .: Fiton XXI, 2014.
- Superclass Tetrapoda Class Birds Aves
- Order Anseriformes - Anseriformes
- Family Duck - Anatidae
- Subfamily Duck, or true ducks - Anatinae
- Tribe Sea Ducks - Mergini
- Genus Lesser Eiders - Polysticta
Siberian eider - Polysticta stelleri pallas... Medium-sized sea duck (weight up to 1 kg). All birds have a shiny mirror with a blue tint on the wing. The male has black back, throat and neck in spring, white head with a green spot on the back of the head. The chest and sides are chestnut-red, the middle of the chest and the belly are black. The beak and paws are blue-gray, the eye is reddish. The female and juveniles are reddish-brown with a transverse pattern. Quite taciturn. Unlike other eiders, it flies high 30-50 m from the surface of the water.
During nesting, it prefers shallow lakes of the seaside tundra. The rest of the time he lives at sea. The nest is a hole lined with dry grass, moss and down. Clutch - 6-7, sometimes up to 10 yellowish or brownish-olive eggs.
It feeds on marine invertebrates (mainly molluscs), crustaceans (amphipods, etc.), larvae of chironomids and caddis flies.