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. When in flight, they show their 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. They are a winter visitor and passage migrant to the UK, most commonly from Northumberland to northern Scotland. Long-tailed ducks are listed as a Schedule 1 species under The Wildlife and Countryside Act.
What they eat:
Mussels, cockles, clams, crabs and small fish.
- 58-60 cm (including 13 cm of tail)
- 73-79 cm
- 520-950 g
- UK wintering:
- 11,000 birds
This bird species has different identifying features depending on sex/age/season.