Named for the crisp, black rim that encircles its eyes like an old-fashioned spectacle, spectacled eiders are a species of Arctic sea ducks that breed along the coasts of Alaska and Siberia. Only male ducks sport this distinctive coloration—female eiders are dark brown and their spectacle patterns are much more subtle. The eiders seek out clams in the Bering Sea and can dive at depths of more than 180 feet to feast on the shellfish!
The Arctic’s harsh conditions have long given the well-adapted spectacled eider an edge over other species when it comes to finding food. But warmer temperatures now allow new species to enter into the eider’s habitat and compete for food. Adding to their troubles, global warming is also drying up the wetlands and ponds that spectacled eiders and other waterfowl use for breeding, which will have long-term impacts on the species&rdquote; survival.
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