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Due to heavy reconstruction of this webpage, this blog is temporary suspended to renew in this summer, it will be updated again after late-autumn, thank you for your visits in these 9 years.

20 February 2016

Norway birds II

 
 White Wagtail (白鶺鴒)
Norway (2015)
3rd October, 2015. Oslo


King Eider (王絨鴨)
Norway (2015)
3rd October, 2015. Oslo

 
Common Eider (歐絨鴨)
Norway (2015)
3rd October, 2015. Oslo

 
Northern Wheatear (穗䳭)
Norway (2015)
3rd October, 2015. Oslo

King Eider is species of the duck family is a little smaller than the common eider, but is more colourful.

It mainly keeps to the polar areas of North America and Russia but also breeds in the northernmost areas of Norway. Even though the majority of the king eider population spends the winter in the Barents Sea, up to 100,000 individuals winter on the windswept edges of the islands off the coast of Northern Norway. The king eider is a capable diver that brings up molluscs , cray­fish and sea urchins from depths of 40 to 60 metres.

Common eider is the largest of our diving ducks and can weigh up to three kilos. The eggs hatch after almost a month of brooding, and after two to three months the young are able to fly. The common eider is a powerful diver who can bring up mussels and seafood from depths of 50-60 metres. It is first and foremost a coastal bird, and many along the coast used to make a nice extra income from harvesting eiderdown. It takes the down from 60-70 nests to produce one kilo of cleaned down, so it’s no surprise that duvets and pillows filled with eiderdown became so exclusive!

For most people the White Wagtail is a sure sign that spring has arrived. This is not just because it is happy and optimistic, but also because it is faithful - the same pair often return year after year. Countless stories tell of white wagtail couples who come back in the spring and «greet»f amilies in the neighbourhood. The white wagtail is equally content on the coast as high in the mountains. Its nest is often found under rocks or other places with a «roof». The eggs hatch after two weeks, and fourteen days later the young leave the nest.

The Northern Wheatear is most comfortable on the ground, where it often builds its nest in walls or on rocky scree. It is found both in the mountains and far north in the country - a few nesting pairs have even made their way as far as Svalbard. It is estimated that between one-half and one million pairs of northern wheatears have their breeding grounds in Norway. The northern wheatear winters in Africa. Southerly migration begins as early as August/September, but by March/April it is back on its rocky scree.

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