Thursday, January 19, 2017

Eider duck courtship

I watched this little group of courting eider ducks at North Shields Fish Quay last week.

At this time of year the drakes are dressed in their finest courting plumage. Their feathers are so smooth that the birds look almost as if they are made of ceramic. 

Their main ploy for attracting the admiration of the females is to throw their head back, inflate that pink chest and emit the most delightful, comical cooing call, which sounds as though they are perpetually surprised. You can hear by clicking here.

Occasionally they flick water into the air with their beaks.

The females aren't always impressed and if the drakes get too familiar their respond by giving them a little nip with their beaks.


  1. My favourite water birds. My friend lives at Loch Riddon and they are there frequently, they sound like Frankie Howerd up there!

  2. Hi
    Did you know there is a Snowy Owl at Rowley? Saw it this lunchtime.

    1. Thank you so much for telling me! That's a bird I would dearly love to see


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