Eider duck

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Currently on a short visit to the south west of England, we stopped off at the Slimbridge Wetlands Trust reserve where I was able to indulge in observing my favourite duck, the Eider.

The male, shown above, has striking black, white and pistachio green plumage; the female, less showy but just as beautiful, is patterned with shades of brown feathers, arranged in attractive patterns.

I’ve written about these favourite ducks of mine before, and I have no idea why they come out top of my list, as there are many beautiful, attractive, humble, ordinary, interesting etc. others to choose from.

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It’s something to do with the shape of the Eider’s head and beak that I find attractive – maybe it’s the pleasing curve – but, without knowing what their temperament is like in reality, they always look rather benign and friendly to me.

I suspect they are not particularly aggressive since the downy feathers they line their nests with are collected for eiderdown, notably in Iceland. I understand that this is replaced with fleece to allow for eggs and chicks to develop as naturally as possible.

 

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