Killer Eider gets Common Crab!

My husband, Tom, managed to capture these actions shots of an Common Eider catching a crab near the beach of vacation rental house in Pocasset, Cape Cod. The funniest shot of this series has to be when the eider throws the crab up in the air.  I think she is trying to kill it by drowning it!  Of course, another explanation would be that the crab pinched her, and she tossed it away instinctively!

 She immediately grabbed it out of the water, though.  Then she proceeded to shake it vigorously for over five minutes.

The crab was tough to kill, if that's what she was trying to do.  I saw a Herring Gull tear a crab to pieces and eat it alive this weekend, but I imagine that is pretty tough to do while swimming.

The Common Eider shook the crab for quite a while, and then she tossed it down whole.  Catching and eating these good sized crabs was a fairly common practice for ducks, gulls, and osprey this year.  Evidently it is a very good year for crabs!


  1. Wow, who knew my brother would be such a talented photographer?

  2. Thanks to all from both the photographer and his editor! Hilke, will we be seeing you at Plum Island?


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