I watched a small raft of Common Eiders on the river as they went through their courtship rituals. This was the day with wind chills around 9F/-13C so I guess love conquers all! The males make a soft cooing call and chase after the females. Both sexes perform wing flapping, head bobbing and other displays. The males are white and black, while the females are chestnut brown. Both are pretty colorful
These are some of the photos I took of the courtship action. Head bobbing and dunking are one form of display.
Wing flapping and chest puffing….
The gull below in the foreground isn’t impressed. It’s looking for a chance to grab some food when the Eiders start foraging.
The courtship can get a lot more active with males chasing females.
One thought on “Eider Courtship”
Nice pictures and story. Normally I would say save this post for Valentine’s Day but I don’t think the feelings were completely mutual.