Birds of Switzerland
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    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