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Waterfowl Photo Reference Study: Longtail Ducks

Waterfowl Photo Reference Study: Longtail Ducks

by Larry Blomquist

Author: Administrator Account/Friday, December 15, 2023/Categories: Articles - All, Articles - Home Page, Fall 2023 Issue 151

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Long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis), formerly known as old squaws, are medium-sized sea ducks that breed in the tundra and taiga regions of the arctic, and winters along the northern coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is the only member of the genus Clangula.

“Old Squaw” was the name given by Native Americans, due to their loud and abundant vocalizations. From a distance a flock of these beautiful birds sounded like a bunch of Native American women chattering away. Old squaw ducks are one of the deepest diving ducks, and can dive as deep as 60 meters (200 feet) to forage for food. They feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates, including insects and crustaceans. They also eat some oysters, clams, fish, fish eggs, and plant matter.

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