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Long Tailed Duck .
Long-tailed Duck
(Clangula hyemalis)
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Pacific coast from Bering Sea south to California , also along Atlantic coast, and in Great Lakes region.


Jaegers, foxes, ravens, eagles, humans.


Mollusks, shrimp, crabs, aquatic vegetation, seeds, insects, and some fish.

Length: 15-22 inches
Wingspan: 30 inches
Weight: 2.1 lbs
Life Span
12-14 years


Long-tailed ducks reach sexual maturity at two years of age. They nest in a depression made of grass and down concealed in vegetation or amongst rocks. Females may mate with the same male as previous years and they lay anywhere between five and eleven cream colored eggs. Only the female incubates the eggs for the 23-25 days before they hatch. Chicks feed mainly on insect larvae and are capable of flight after 35-40 days.

Seasonal Change

Sexually dimorphic. Four different plumages over the year, in contrast to most seaducks, which have two.  The male has bold black and white plumage, whiter in winter, and more dark in summer, with long, slender central tail feathers.  The females are a duller brown color and lack the long tail feathers. 

Morphology and Function

While most diving ducks paddle with their webbed feet, the long-tailed duck uses its partially folded wings to propel itself underwater. Long-tailed ducks are the deepest diving ducks in the world, diving to depths are far as 200 feet.  Of all diving ducks, the long-tailed duck 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.

Other Facts

he long-tailed duck was formerly known as the Oldsquaw

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