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Steller's Eiders in Iceland
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The Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri has become a near-annual visitor in recent years, after the first was found in June 1981 at Lake Mývatn (NE-Iceland). Many tend to become long-stayers, e.g. a drake staying at Borgarfjörður (in the east) from January 1998 until July 2013, and a female staying at Melrakkaslétta (in the northeast) from April 2000 till January 2012. They are usually found either with Common Eiders Somateria mollissima or Harlequin Ducks Histrionicus histrionicus. Fifteen birds had been accepted up to and including 2011, of these four were females.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3


  • Figure 1 shows the distribution of records in Iceland, the circles representing different numbers of birds and the blue triangles records at sea.
  • Figure 2 shows the weekly distribution of records. Red columns show the week of discovery and the yellow columns all observations after the first week (for birds that are seen more than one week).
    R = number of records & F = number of birds.
  • Figure 3 shows the annual distribution of new records for the period mentioned.

    © Gunnlaugur Pétursson / Yann Kolbeinsson