Date: 1/10/19 4:14 am
From: David Provencher via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Common Eider behavior
To echo Glenn, we are seeing a dramatic increase in Common Eider in CT over
the last few years. The magnitude is stunning. In the 90s I saw 38 Common
Eider fly into the shelter of the Thames during a nasty storm. I was amazed
to see that many in CT waters. Last month while riding the New London ferry
I witnessed 1,600 in a raft off the mouth of the Thames River. This is as
significant an increase as one could ever imagine.

Dave Provencher
Got Ibisbill? Tiger? Join me in India and Bhutan, March/April, 2019

On Jan 10, 2019 2:35 AM, "Glenn Williams via CTBirds" <
<ctbirds...> wrote:

Birders,

Several of my observations this winter were with Andrew Dasinger, Phil
Rusch, and/or Scott Tsagarakis, who have been birding decades longer than I
have and expressed their surprise at this eider behavior. When I started
birding in the early 90's and into the 2000's, Common Eider were a review
species requiring a request for a write up from ARCC and most Connecticut
birders had seen more King Eiders in Connecticut than Common Eiders.

I found Common Eider nests on South Dumpling Island (NY waters) in the
mid-2000's which was then the southern-most nesting confirmation of that
species. Tina Green saw downy Common Eider young in Groton within the past
few years but the tendency of this species to abandon nests and swim great
distance from the nesting area precluded Common Eider nesting confirmation
in Connecticut. I suspect that that 2019 will be the year that someone
will confirm proof of eider nesting in Connecticut based on the current
increase in their wintering and year-round population increase in the
state. I will be checking islands in the eastern end of the Sound this
spring. Past experience and research suggests nests will be on islands
with brush cover near the water. I have seen nests among boulders near the
shore, on soil under bushes near the shore, and slightly further back from
the water on soil, but near brush cover. The grayish-brown downy feathers
nests will be the only large feathered nests on coastal islands. The eggs
will be grayish olive to light brown. Look from early May on if you have
boat access. Islands too close to shore may be too easy for predators to
access and prevent nesting. South Dumpling Island is so far far out into
the Sound to be in NY waters and yet a coyote was observed out there
several years ago. Greg Hanisek has anticipated proof of eider nesting on
islands on the eastern Connecticut part of the Sound any time now. He
tends to be right about these things.

Glenn Williams
Mystic

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This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
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