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1. The eider has a history in Northumberland and was a firm favourite with St Cuthbert. ...more>

2. The eider is affectionately known locally as ‘Cuthbert’s’ or ‘Cuddy’ ducks.  In Shetland the ducks are called ‘dunters’ due to their bobbing up and down action in the waves. In the Western Isles they are called ‘Colks’ which is gaelic for ‘feather bed’....view image>

3. There is a stained glass window in St Cuthbert’s Church in Amble depicting St Cuthbert with his beloved eiders.

4. There are estimated to be around 1500 eider on Northumberland Coast.

5. The duck spend most of the year at sea returning in February for the breeding season.

6. The eider is the largest of our sea going ducks. ...view image>

7. The Latin name for the Common Eider seen along our coast is ‘Somateria Mollissima’. ‘Mollissima’ refers to their favourite food of mussels. ...view image>

8. There are many species of eider to include the dazzling King Eider, Fischer’s Eider and Stellar’s Eider. ...more>    

9. Eider live in colonies and look after their young in crèches. ...view image>

10. They have a very distinct call.  ...more>

11. In Iceland in particular, eider were farmed for their warm cosy down. This is how the ‘eiderdown’ quilt got its name.   ...more>

12. The author and naturalist, Gavin Maxwell, was a great admirer of the eider. ...more>

Once you have encountered the stoical and comical character of the eider – you will be hooked for life!


Here, off Northumberland’s Heritage Coastline, eider can be seen bobbing in and out of the waves where they spend a great deal of their lives. Good spots to watch eider are Amble, Craster and Seahouses harbours –especially in the Spring breeding season when they are at their most colourful …and vocal!


Here are a few more points of interest about this unique duck.

If you know of any other interesting facts about the eider or have an eider colony where you live or holiday, why not contact us  or follow us on facebook.