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Thread: presumed hybrid Steller's Eider

  1. #1
    Member Alcedo atthis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default presumed hybrid Steller's Eider

    Does anybody have:

    Forsman, Dick (1995) A presumed hybrid Steller's Eider x Common Eider in Norway Birding World' 8(4):138

    and could send me a copy?

    many thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Little Chalfont



    I have an original abstract of the text. Dick discovered the bird on a Limosa tour of Varanger in north Norway in early April 1995; it was a drake sitting amongst an assorted flock of King, Steller's and Common Eiders in Vadso Harbour and was picked out as it had a 'Spectacled Eider-like' appearance - eg, a large white spectacle surrounded by green.

    It was only slightly larger than drake Steller's Eider and clearly smaller than drake King Eider and the head and neck were mostly white, with a dark green spot in front of the eye which joined over the crown (like Steller's) but had faint green sides to the head and head (like Common), with the green framing and demarcating the obvious white 'spectacles' around the eyes. The bill was pale grey (similar in colour to that of Common) whilst the shape of the head was rather square, with an angled forehead. The bill shape was also closer to that of Steller's, although the line of the feathering at the base was more curved and the nail was more like that of Common.

    The breast was deeper orange than in Common and King Eiders, and showed a faint brown wash like Steller's. The colour of the breast merged into the black lower breast and belly without a clear demarcation.

    The bird appeared quite dark above. The scapulars were dark, with faint pale streaks visible only at close range, and the slightly decurved tertials were dark with frosty tips and shafts. The back and entire 'stern' were uniformly blackish and lacked the prominent white spot on the rear flanks of both drake King and Common Eiders. The tail was fairly long. The upperwing showed the bird to be an adult drake, since all the lesser and median coverts were pure white. The greater coverts and the secondaries were dark with broad white tips forming distinctive wingbars.

    Dick managed to photograph the bird and I can email him for you to see if he has still got them (although I know he had an accident with his image collection)

    Hope this helps

    Lee Evans

  3. #3
    Member Alcedo atthis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    many Thanks Lee, that would be great! i sent you a PM.


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