Date: 1/10/19 4:29 am
From: Thomas Robben via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Common Eider behavior
Are there any theories as to why this increase?
I wonder if their favorite prey items are changing?
Perhaps they are developing a taste for some invasive species, etc?
Tom Robben



On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 7:14 AM David Provencher via CTBirds <
<ctbirds...> wrote:

> 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)
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