National Marine Conservation Areas of Canada
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Canada’s National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan
King eider (Somateria spectabilis)
© Parks Canada / Dorothea Kappler, 1995
King eiders are found by the tens of thousands along shore leads in the spring as they wait for the snow to melt on their nesting grounds along the Arctic coast and islands. They winter at sea as far north as open water permits. Feeding down to depths of over 50 m, they are one of the deepest divers among the diving ducks. They feed mainly on mussels and other molluscs, crabs, sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers and sea anemones, as well as algae.