Common Eider in Superior Wisconsin on January 30, 2015

I made the trip up to Superior Wisconsin in hopes to see the reported rare for this region, the Common Eider. Daryl Christensen made the trip up with me for what would be a very exciting event. We arrived in Superior about 8:15 am and hit Barkers Island as the reported location that this duck had last been viewed. The small open water on each side of the bridge to the island held 4 Mallard Ducks on one side and 8 Common Goldeneyes on the other.  The recent reports told of the Common Eider, female, being mixed in the very many Mallards and might be hard to locate? We left the area and traveled some of the city near the bay looking for open water. Everything was froze up. We even traveled the bridge into Minnesota in hopes to spot open water somewhere in the area from above, but had the same result, froze up. We went back to the island and a couple more ducks were present but no Common Eider. At this point we thought we may have lost the chances of seeing the Common Eider. We thought we would take a drive out of town to locate the deer carcass that had been reported on a Hwy 13 road side with a possible Black-billed Magpie. We located a carcass, watched over it for almost 30 minutes with no luck and decided maybe head back into town in hopes the Common Eider has made an appearance. Sure enough, there the Common Eider sat on the ice with approximately 40 other ducks, with some in the water. To say the least, we had two very excited birders making the day complete, each with a new life bird. A drake Northern Pintail was also in the group of ducks that had just came in and it gave nice views. We put together the ducks maybe spend the night way out in open water, during the morning hours they start returning to the small open water near the island bridge, just a thought. Thanks to the finder of this bird and all the birders that kept the continuing reports of this bird coming in. Images were taken on January 30, 2015.


Common Eider

Binomial name: Somateria mollissima

Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Size: 24” long, 38” wing span

Weight: 4.7 lbs


Common Eider with Mallard, male behind


Common Eider hanging out with Mallards, male







Just out of water with Mallards


Just out of water with Mallards


Common Eider with Mallard, female



Looking for a place to loaf, with Mallards



Taking a break on the ice



Mallard, male front, Common Eider back




Common Eider with Mallard behind, male








Common Eider stretching






Common Eider with Northern Pintail behind, male


Northern Pintail, male


Northern Pintail


Northern Pintail


Northern Pintail


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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

5 Responses to Common Eider in Superior Wisconsin on January 30, 2015

  1. Michael J. Matusinec says:

    Great series Jim, what a great fine. Will it come downs to the
    MKE area, or does it stay in that upper area?

  2. Amy says:

    The Northern Pintail is stunning! Great photos!

  3. Sue Peterson says:

    Wonderful to see these birds up close. I don’t think I will ever see an eider, so this is my way of “absorbing” the details. Great photos, and thanks for sharing them.

  4. Annie Mueller says:

    Thanks for sharing Jim. I’m sure I’d never pick that out of a crowd! It’s awesome to see your pictures, so up close.

  5. Elaine Swanson says:

    Jim – the water looks icy cold. One can only imagine the rough and frigid seas in which the Eider travels – yet his expression is calm and unassuming. The Pintail on the other hand is royally gorgeous and knows it. Every feather so exquisitely arranged – colors are a stunning contrast. He’s a knock-out alright! Thanks for making the long haul up there, Jim.

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