[Tweeters] Common Eider Subspecies?
josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Tue Jan 10 00:30:16 PST 2017
I was looking at the photos taken today by Meghin Spencer of the Common Eider at Purdy Spit, and I was struck by how rufous the bird's plumage appeared - almost like the Atlantic Ocean subspecies "dresseri". A quick Google inquiry of more "dresseri" photos, comparing both plumage coloration and head/bill proportions, seemed to support my suspicion. I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of other observers and perhaps of those with more experience with Common Eider subspecies.
It is worth noting that the Pacific Coast has one previous accepted "dresseri" record, of a female in November 2011 at Crescent City, CA. As noted previously on Tweeters by Ryan Merrill, the Common Eider female seen at Hayton Reserve on Fir Island back in October was an escaped female "dresseri" from a nearby waterfowl collection. With both of these occurrences in mind (and not necessarily resting any bias on either), it will be interesting to confirm the subspecies of this Pierce Co. bird one way or another!
Good birding, Joshua Glant
Mercer Island, WA
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