Common Eider

      Somateria mollissima

      Information

      The Common Eider, which is widespread in northern Europe and well known for its downs, used to be a rare visitor to Switzerland. However, during the second half of the 20th century there were several large influxes. Thanks to the increase of the zebra mussel, there was sufficient food so that the birds increasingly spent the summer with us. In the meantime, the Common Eider even breeds in our country, which is remarkable for a bird that is adapted to the sea.

      Voice

      Status (in CH)
      regular, scarce breeder, regular, scarce migrant and winter visitor
      Annual cycle
      The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
      Annual cycle
      Annual cycle

      Facts

      Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
      1 - 5 (2013-2016)
      Migration behaviour
      resident to short-distance migrant
      Diurnal/nocturnal migrant
      Nocturnal migrant
      Length (cm)
      50-71
      wing span (cm)
      80-108
      Weight (g)
      1200-2800
      Nest site
      ground
      Food
      mussels
      Group
      Wildfowl
      Habitat
      lakes, rivers & streams
      Distribution
      Distribution
      Distribution