First Year Male King Eider at Colonel Sam Smith Park in Toronto

This first year (year old) male King Eider is at Colonel Sam Smith Park in Toronto. It was first reported here on 11 May by Lynn Pady, several days after the first year male at LaSalle Marina in Burlington was last reported on 6 May 2012, likely the same birds. King Eiders do not breed in their first year so it may stay on Lake Ontario this summer. Photo: 24 May 2012.


It's an excellent opportunity to study its molt from first breeding plumage to second winter plumage. It still has retained worn brown  primaries and secondaries. contrasting with new black scapulars and body feathers. Most of its tail feathers are old and worn except for a new black deck (centre tail) feather. The wings and tail will be fully molted later this summer. Colonel Sam Smith Park, Toronto, 23 May 2012.


Front view showing new black feathers contrasting with older brown feathers. Note how the bill shape and colour are changing. Colonel Sam Smith Park in Toronto on 24 May 2012. See February 2012 first winter male King Eider at LaSalle