|Close to the sea.
Lined with, believe it or not, Eider down
from the female's breast.
Crustaceans and molluscs, with mussels being a favoured food.
A particularly famous colony of Eiders live on the Farne
Islands in Northumberland. These birds were the subject
of one of the first ever bird protection laws, established
by Saint Cuthbert in the year 676. About 1,000 pairs still
nest there every year. Because St. Cuthbert is the patron
saint of Northumberland, it was natural that the Eider should
chosen as the county's emblem; the birds are still often
called Cuddy's ducks in the area, "Cuddy" being
the familiar form of "Cuthbert".
Male has bold black and white plumage with greenish
nape and pinkish breast. Female rich browns.