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Science
THE LIVING WORLD
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  Sunday 06:35-07:00
The Living World is a gentle, weekend natural history programme, which aims to broadcast the best, most intimate wild encounters with British wildlife. In this series Brett Westwood reveals a flavour of Northumberland as he watches eider ducks, otters and red squirrels as well as visiting Keilder Forest.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 25 min
Listen to 3 March
PRESENTER
BRETT WESTWOOD
Brett Westwood
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Sunday 3 March 2002
Male eider duck

Cuddy's Duck

The eider duck, known locally as "Cuddy's" duck, is regarded as the first bird in the world to have been given conservation protection, when St Cuthbert offered the eider duck sanctuary on the Farne Islands in the seventh century. Today, they breed in vast numbers off the Northumbrian coast, and Brett Westwood travels to see the duck's colourful breeding plumage, and listen to the famous "crooning" calls of the males.
With guests Paul Morrison and Hilary Broker-Carey, Brett inspects the eider's breeding sites. The nests are lined with warm down, plucked from the females' own breast, a habit utilised by eider farmers in Iceland whereby small quantities of feathers are harvested from each nest and used in the manufacture of bedding. Brett discovers how it takes the feathers from 84 nests to make just one cosy eider duvet.
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