Central and Eastern parts of Canada and the United States
Appearances count. That's why the male Steller's eider displays striking black, white, chestnut and green plumage for much of the year-hoping to catch the eye of a receptive female. Pomp takes a holiday during late summer and fall, when breeding season ends the male reverts to an inconspicuous brown. The arctic bird's diet changes with the seasons as well: it feeds on aquatic insects and plants during breeding season, then transitions to mollusks and crustaceans. Each year, fewer and fewer eiders make an appearance in Alaska; subsistence hunting and contaminants are among the factors thought to be causing their steep population declines.
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Head and body length, 43-45 cm; wingspan, approx 69 cm
Estimated at 126,000-144,000 individuals