Virtual museum of Canada
Collections from Storage: A Visit to our Hidden Treasures

Common Eider

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This nest looks so comfy and soft! It is the nest of a Common Eider. This bird of the marine littoral makes its nest on an island or at the water's edge, on a bed of sand or rocks. The female carefully lines the nest with the small, fine breast feathers or down, before laying 4 to 6 eggs.

The down furnished by the Common Eider has long been used to make warm garments and bedcovers. Harvesting the down does not harm the duck because the feathers are taken after the young leave the nest. Did you know that the French word ''édredon'' comes from the English term ''eider down'', which refers to the breast feathers of the common eider?

This nest comes from Baie-des-Sables, in the lower St. Lawrence region of Quebec.

Nest of a Common Eider constructed of plant material and lined with down and feathers.

Credits : Musée de la nature et des sciences, Sherbrooke

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