Somateria mollissima

Common Names: Common eider
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Ducks, Geese, & Swans

The Common Eider is both the largest of the 4 eider species and the largest duck found in Europe and in North America (except for the muscovy duck which only reaches North America in a wild state in southernmost Texas). It measures 20 to 28 inches in length, weighs 1.8 to 6.7 lbs and spans 31 to 43 inches across the wings. It is characterized by its bulky shape and large, wedge-shaped bill. The male is unmistakable, with its black and white plumage and green nape. The female is a brown bird, but can still be readily distinguished from all ducks, except other eider species, on the basis of size and head shape.

Found near coastal areas.

Edible Notes: They are edible and historically eaten. Their down has been used for fine pillows and quilts. The band Pink Floyd has mentioned the use of eiderdown in at least three of their early songs: Flaming, Julia Dream, and A Pillow Of Winds.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.