Northern Common Eider (borealis) at Fifty Point on Lake Ontario

First record for Ontario of this subspecies. Female Northern Common Eider (borealis) on Lake Ontario at Fifty Point Conservation Area, east of Hamilton, on 6 December 2013. Identified and reported as a Common Eider on 4 and 5 December, but not identified to subspecies. Previously the two subspecies recorded in Ontario are dresseri (Atlantic subspecies) and sedentaria (Hudson Bay subspecies). We thought that this was a Northern Eider (borealis) so we asked Bruce Mactavish of Newfoundland who knows dresseri and borealis well. He agrees that it is borealis. Waterfowl experts Ken Abraham and Harry Lumsden also said it is borealis. It is identified by the bill process forming a very narrow point towards the eye. See link below.

 

Link to Identification of the Eastern Subspecies of Common Eider in Canada

 

Female Northern Common Eider (borealis) on Lake Ontario at Fifty Point Conservation Area east of Hamilton on 6 December 2013. First found on Monday 2 December 2013 by the Bruce Birding Club. Identified as a Common Eider by Kevin McLaughlin on 4 and 5 December 2013.

 

There is a female King Eider close by at Millen Road, Stoney Creek allowing close comparison of the two species, noted in particular are the shape of the bill, position of the nostrils and facial feathering. See Link to female King Eider