Straumsnesveien 139, Utskarpen, Rana municipality, Norway
In bright spring nights in April, the eider-ducks gather and start their courtship. A cackling spring-play is heard from the fjord, the males with their loud “aooooo, hoo hoooo”, the females with their low “gokk, gokk” sounds. For a limited period of time, they will come ashore to inhabit my farm, trusting me and the surroundings with their most precious items, their beautiful green eggs. Caring for eider-ducks in a mutual relationship is an almost extinct tradition on the coast of Helgeland in Northern-Norway. Seventy years ago, my grand-parents looked after 160 eider-ducks, picking dove, making exclusive duvets. Neighbouring farmers did the same, keeping the cat in a leash, their children calm, fighting possible predators, adjusting to the eider-ducks’ need for peaceful contemplation during incubation.
Wooden eggs were made and anchored in the nest. The first eggs were safely kept from predators. When incubation started, wooden eggs were removed, and the precious eggs put back beneath her, securing the next generation.
This work was inspired by the old wooden eider-duck egg made by my father. The egg is worn out after predator bird attacks and moist from the soil. The new eggs can help the species to succeed.
In the Landscape with Capercailzies