Date: 1/10/19 5:00 am
From: David Provencher via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Common Eider behavior
That's a good question Tom. As you know, birds go where there's habitat and
food. Like Glenn has noted, I've also seen them pushing far up into fresh
water, such as into upper Niantic River. The question is to me, has food
sources increased that dramatically in Eastern Long island sound, or is it
just a population increase, a significant one, or has the food base crashed
on their normal wintering grounds? Offhand I don't have the answer to any
of that. But I think it's something we should start to look into to better
understand what's going on in our Eastern Connecticut Waters.

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

On Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 7:28 AM Thomas Robben <robben99...> wrote:

> 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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>
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