LONG-TAILED DUCK

Clangula hyemalis

Status:  Rare regular spring and fall migrant statewide. Rare casual winter visitor central and northeast.

Documentation: Specimen: UNSM ZM12300, 11 Nov 1931 east of Tekamah, Burt Co.

Taxonomy:  No subspecies are recognized.

Spring:  Feb 26, 28, Mar 2 <<<>>> Apr 24, 24, 29

There is an earlier report 16 Feb 2002 below Gavin’s Point Dam, Cedar Co, and later reports 17 May 1985 and 18 May 1986 Lincoln Co.

Fall:  Oct 30, 31, 31 <<<>>> Dec 18, 19, 20

There are earlier dates 28 Sep-5 Oct 2002 at Winters Creek Lake, Scotts Bluff Co, and 18 Oct 1946 Platte Co, and later dates 22 Dec 2003 a juvenile female at Harlan Co Reservoir, Harlan Co, and two lingering at Carter Lake, Douglas Co until 23 Dec 2017. There are virtually no reports after 23 Dec away from Lincoln and Keith Cos (see Winter), except for 2-3 at Gavin’s Point Dam, Cedar Co 8 Dec 2011-2 Jan 2012.

  • High counts: 11 at Keystone Lake, Keith Co 29 Nov 1998, 6 in Lancaster Co 7 Dec 1975 (Williams 1976), 6 in Cedar Co 12 Dec 1993 (Grzybowski 1994), 6 at Gavin’s Point Dam 16 Nov 2011, and 6 at Carter Lake 18-28 Nov 2017.

WinterOf about 39 reports for the period 23 Dec-8 Mar, most are from Keith and Lincoln Cos and are of single birds with other wintering diving ducks, although eight were on Lake Ogallala during winter 1999-2000 and at least 11 were on Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala 2 Jan 2011. Sightings of an adult male in the Harlan Co Reservoir area 1 Jan-8 Mar 2006 were probably of the same individual. Up to three wintered in the Gavin’s Point Dam area 15 Dec 2016-17 Feb 2017.

Long-tailed Duck is “by far the most abundant sea duck wintering on the Great Lakes”, and “small numbers … can also occur on larger inland water bodies” (Baldassarre 2014).

  • High counts: 11 at Lake McConaughy 2 Jan 2011, 9 there 12 Dec 1998-2 Jan 1999, 8 wintering there 1999-2000, and 8 there 20 Dec 2013.

Abbreviations

UNSM: University of Nebraska State Museum

Acknowledgement

Photograph (top) of a Long-tailed Duck at Carter Lake, Douglas Co, on 20 Nov 2017 by Phil Swanson.

Literature Cited

Baldassarre, G. 2014. Ducks, geese, and swans of North America. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Grzybowski, J.A. 1994. Southern Great Plains Region. American Birds 48: 222-223.

Williams, F. 1976. Southern Great Plains Region. American Birds 30: 735-739.

Recommended Citation

Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen.  2018.  Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), Version 1.0. In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org


Birds of Nebraska – Online