Long-tailed Duck

Clangula hyemalis

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

LTDU

Code 6

CLAHYE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable

The Long-tailed Duck has a large breeding range, estimated around 1,570,000 square kilometers. It breeds on wetlands in grassy tundra in Iceland, Greenland, northern Canada, northern Russia, and Scandinavia, and winters in coastal waters, estuaries, and large lakes in Iceland, Greenland, eastern and western Canada, the Great Lakes, the northeastern United States, the Aleutian Islands, and northeastern Asia. The global population of this bird is estimated at 6,200,000 to 6,800,000 individuals but is considered Vulnerable because of recent declines associated with oil pollution and habitat degradation.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Long-tailed Duck: This small duck has black upperparts, head, neck, breast and wings; brown mottled black back, white flanks, belly, under tail coverts. Long black tail with long slender feathers, pale gray mask and black bill with dark pink saddle. Feeds on aquatic insects. Female is duller, lacks long tail, and has gray bill. Swift direct flight often with erratic side-to-side turns of body.

 

Range and Habitat

Long-tailed Duck: Breeds from Alaska east across most of northern Canada. Winters along the Pacific coast from the Bering Sea south to California; from Greenland, eastern North America, and Labrador south, including the Great Lakes, to South Carolina. Prefers a variety of coastal waters; straits, bays, harbors, channels, fiords, estuaries, offshore waters, and mudflats.

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Long-tailed Duck SONGS AND CALLS

Long-tailed Duck A1

Calls from a flock.

Long-tailed Duck A2

Male call is a loud "ow-owoohlee".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Ow-owdle-ow, ow-owdle-ow"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Long-tailed Duck was formerly called Oldsquaw, though this name has fallen out of favor under influence of negative connotations of the word squaw in English usage.
  • It has the most complex molt of any species of waterfowl with three different plumages during the year, achieved in a complex series of overlapping partial molts.
  • Of all diving ducks, it spends the most time under water relative to time on the surface. When it is foraging it is submerged three to four times as much as it is on top of the water. They are capable of diving to depths of 200 feet.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Tail covertsX
The short tail feathers covering the base of the long tail feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X