Winter birdwatching in Boston Harbor: The Common Eider

boston harbor

January leaves us with few options for recreational boating in Boston Harbor, but one thing that is great about this area in winter is the vast number of migratory birds that flock here. With calm waters, today was a great day to go see some of the cool migratory birds that hang out around here, including Eiders and Surf Scoters, (not to mention seagulls and geese)…Pictured above is a closeup shot of the Common Eider as it comes up for air.

This species migrates down from Canada in the winter, and hangs out along the shoreline, periodically diving under to find food. Essentially a type of Northern duck, these birds make their nests near shore, so are often found in places with offshore islands where they are less likely to be disturbed.

Above is a picture of a flock of Eiders talking flight (notice the cargo ship in the background if you look carefully).

boston harbor birds

 The same species can be seen in the two photos below:


 common eider

A Common Eider as it sits beside a seagull. See the difference?

common eider

Here, the Eider dives below the surface to swim around and look for food:

Boston Harbor Birds

An ordinary seagull looking for a snack near the beach:

boston harbor birds

Another eider, caught on camera as he comes up for air after diving below in search of food:

boston harbor

Sometimes you watch the birds, and sometimes the birds watch you!


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