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Conservation status: Red

The long-tailed duck is a small, neat sea duck. They have small round heads and steep foreheads. In winter, the male is mainly white with some brownish-black markings. He also has greatly elongated tails feathers - hence the name. Females are browner. In flights, they show all dark wings and white bellies. They do not breed in the UK but protection of their wintering sites is important, because they are vulnerable to oil pollution at sea. A winter visitor and passage migrant to the UK, most common from Northumberland north to northern Scotland.



Latin name

Clangula hyemalis


Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

The best chance of seeing long-tailed ducks is from seawatching points around the coast in winter, particularly in northern Scotland, Shetland and Orkney.

When to see them

Most often seen in winter.

What they eat

Mussels, cockles, clams, crabs and small fish.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--11,000 birds-




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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