Common Eiders again are arriving at the Blue Hill Reversing Falls for their annual winter convocation, which always is a welcome winter sight. In prior years, upwards of 500 of these birds (our largest native ducks) spent most of the winter there diving for crustaceans and mollusks.
There seems to have been fewer in the past two years. Perhaps the decreasing number of wild blue mussels near the Falls has made it less popular with the newer generations. However, they do their share of depleting mussels and clams -- they swallow them whole and leave the shelling to their gizzards.
(Blue Hill, Maine)