Skip to main content

Steller's Eider

Male Polysticta stelleri
Hey look! Another Steller's animal! I think we're almost through all of them... Sea Cow, Sea Eagle, Sea Lion... and now an Eider.

Eiders are Sea Ducks, and there are four different species (Steller's Eider actually belongs to a separate genus from the other three). Today's animal is actually the smallest of the Eiders, measuring only around 18in in length. Males and females have different coloration- Males have white heads, light coloring on their sides and wings, and black barring. Females are more uniformly dark brown.

Steller's Eiders live in the Arctic, and are actually less tied to sea than others of their type. They tend to nest on the tundra near smaller bodies of water, and travel in very large flocks that can easily number into the thousands. Steller's Eiders are a migratory species. They breed further north in the summer, and then travel as far as 2,000miles to their southern wintering and molting grounds.

Unfortunately, Steller's Eiders are listed as Vulnerable. Habitat loss, climate change, hunting, and pollution are all factors have all contributed to their decline. They are protected in Russia and the United States, and captive breeding programs are underway.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Arctic
Size : Length around 18in (45cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae -- Genus : Polysticta -- Species : P. stelleri


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent