Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis)
(aka Oldsquaw)
Male Long-tailed Duck, winter plumage (Captive) November 2001 - click for larger image The Long-tailed Duck breeds all round the Arctic in Europe, Asia and North America, wintering further south but usually at sea and, in many cases, out of sight of land.

Large wintering flocks of several thousand birds are to be found in the Moray Firth area of Scotland while further south in the Firth of Forth flocks of a few hundred are seen offshore.

Male Long-tailed Duck, eclipse plumage (Captive) June 2001 - click for larger image The bird in the first photo is a male in winter plumage. The bird in the second photograph is a male in eclipse plumage where the normally white crown and neck are turning dark brown and the feathers on the back look like a female's feathers rather than the normal dark brown. The third photo is a female in winter plumage. All these photos are of captive birds at the Barnes WWT Reserve in London.

The 4th photo was taken in Scotland and shows a winter-plumaged male in flight.

Female Long-tailed Duck, winter plumage (Captive) November 2001 - click for larger image They are one of the champion divers amongst birds and have been recorded at depths of up to 60 metres (190 feet) as they search for shellfish on the sea-bed.

There is an illustration in HBW, Volume 1, Page 620.

Male Long-tailed Duck, winter plumage, Musselburgh, Scotland, November 2002 - click for larger image
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