[CT Birds] Possible Common Eider Nesting - Fishers Island Sound

james.bair at snet.net james.bair at snet.net
Mon Jun 1 21:38:22 EDT 2009

Friday, May 29, I went out on a Ocean Classroom sailboat with a group from my school. We ended up anchoring for a while in Fishers Island Sound. I saw a male Common Eider fly by. I later saw two female Eiders twice emerge from vegetation on Flat Hammock. They emerged separately but swam together. Flat Hammock is just yards over the state line into New York, north of Little Dumpling and North Dumpling off the northeast shore of Fishers Island. It is an exposed sandbar, but it has some thick grasses and vegetation on it. It does look like the kind of spot an Eider might nest. There were a good number of Great-Black-Backed Gull nests and two American Oystercatcher nests on the little island. 

According to Dunne, Eider have been known to nest as far south as Long Island, and it looks like a possibility here. I know a King Eider has been seen at Hammo, but these were all Common Eiders. They would almost certainly sometimes be in Connecticut waters. Perhaps, if someone reading this might know someone in New York interested, you could pass this on. I have a friend who used to live on Fishers Island, and when I visited him, I would look up Mr. Ed Horning, the resident birder and licensed bander on the island, but that was over twenty years ago.

Jim Bair

More information about the CTBirds mailing list