|Churchill Birds I
Common Eiders, Tundra Swans, Arctic Tern, Surf Scoter, and Gulls
Our first morning we went to Cape Merry where the Hudson River flows into Hudson Bay. We were immediately attracted by the
Common Eiders that were swimming in the River. A colorful duck of the northern seacoasts, the Common Eider is the largest
duck in the Northern Hemisphere. The male's bright white, black, and green plumage contrasts markedly with the female's
camouflaging dull striped brown.
Some males were in hot pursuit of a female Eider.
Another beautiful bird we saw our first morning was a Tundra Swan. As their common name implies, the tundra swan breeds in
the Arctic and subarctic tundra, where they inhabit shallow pools, lakes and rivers.
The Arctic tern is famous for its migration; it flies from its Arctic breeding grounds to the Antarctic and back again each year, the
shortest distance between these areas being 12,000 miles.
The Arctic Terns were courting. Here, a male tern brings a fish to his lady which she accepts.
This is a typical tern nest, just a dip in the ground.
Our last evening we found a whole colony of terns in an oil depot amidst oil tanks several stories high and oil tanker cars.
The Bonaparte Gull is a small graceful gull that breeds in the isolated taiga and boreal forests and winters in southern Canada
and the lower 48 states.
Herring Gulls are part of a complex of large, white-headed gulls that breed across the northern hemisphere.
The Surf Scoter occurs only in North America. Surf scoters breed on shallow freshwater lakes found in the closed and open
boreal forests of northern Canada and Alaska.