Thursday, September 8, 2016

Common Eider

Common Eider aka. "Cuddy" (informal)
Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA
August 2016
Member of the Duck, Swam, and Goose Family
§A Blush of Ducks§
The National Emblem Bird of Northumberland
The Largest Duck of the Northern Hemisphere

{etymology corner} The scientific name of the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) translates to "very soft bodywool", which refers to this duck's particularly soft down. The feathers are plucked from the female's breast and are used to line the nest in the cold climates where these birds live. People use the down for blankets and pillows. Eider down can be harvested from birds sustainably and humanely though, so don't worry too much. Also, it isn't really used that much any more.

~true bird history~ The subject of one of the first ever bird protection laws. In the year 676 Saint Cuthbert declared that the colony of birds living on the Farne islands off the coast of Northumberland (Britain), were off limits. Among many other interesting qualities he possesses, the final resting place of St. Cuthbert is only known by group of 12 monks, and only when one dies does a new one get informed. Check out his wikipedia, it's pretty neat.

Bookish and cerebral
Needs a lot of down time. Naps
Big soup fan
Has many admirers, but doesn't know it

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