Farmers would provide the ducks with safe nesting sites. Eider are attracted to bright colours and noise, quite often nesting in the centre of gull colonies which, although they benefit from their neighbours defensive nature, does have the down side of putting their eggs and young in danger. To encourage the duck to their sites the farmers would use coloured flags, bunting and even toy windmills. The sites generally had the benefit of a supply of both salt and fresh water to cater for every need. The ducks returned to these sites year on year and the down was harvested from their nests twice a year during the breeding season. The ducks replenished the harvested down with some more from their downy breasts. In relatively recent times the fashion for duvets forced manufacturers to look to the poultry industry for a more plentiful and less costly product.