A Special Habitat for Eider Ducks

A rare bit of footage shows yet another reason to save this unique and rare ecosystem.

Susan Vickery recalled someone mentioning the Eider Ducks who visit Owls Head and how it is an essential habitat for them. She also recalled having spotted one and gotten footage a couple of years ago. She dug it up and sent it to me.

Her words:

I listened to an ecologist talking about the importance of the salt marshes at Owl’s Head Provincial Park. She referenced three very important visitors: the Common Eider was one of them.

I was really fortunate to capture this fellow at the marsh preening and feeding! I usually see them as black and white blips in deep ocean.

Salt marshes are unique and vital habitats for millions of migrating birds. They are a protective feeding and rest area for many shorebirds and seabirds.

Eider ducks nest and breed in the far North and spend winters feeding along Atlantic inlets. Their main diet consists of clams, mussels, and crustaceans.

Salt marshes prevent soil erosion by providing a natural buffer between the land and sea.  During harsh winter storms, Eider ducks find shelter in the buffered zone.

The oldest Common Eider on record?
27 years and counting!

Susan Vickery

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