The Spectacled Eider
(Somateria fischeri) is a large sea duck, which breeds on the
coasts of Alaska and northeastern Siberia. The lined nest is built
on tundra close to the sea, and 5-9 eggs are laid. This species
dives for crustaceans and molluscs. It winters in often enormous
flocks at sea in the Arctic along the edge of the pack ice. The
Spectacled Eider is slightly smaller than the Common Eider at
52-57cm. The male is unmistakable with its black body, white back,
and yellow-green head with the large circular white eye patches
which give the species its name. The drake's call is a weak crooning,
and the female's a harsh croak.
The female is
a rich brown bird, but can still be readily distinguished from
all ducks except other eider species on size and structure. The
paler googles are visible with a reasonable view, and clinch identification.
Immature birds and eclipse adult drakes are similar to the female.
Above Pictures From The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service