Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Long-tailed Duck

I have wanted to see a Long-tailed Duck for a good while. Most years, these sea ducks are quite scarce away from the Great Lakes (or salt water). I thought it was cool to see the detail on his feet in the above photo.

Above, you can see why they are called a Long-tailed Duck. This year, Long-tailed Ducks seem to be showing up everywhere.

Two males and this female were at the Olio Road bridge over Geist. I was excited to get nice, long, close-up looks.

The Redheads, Scaup, Canvasbacks, and Goldeneyes didn't like my presence up on the bridge. The Long-tailed Ducks swam away when I got closer, but then moved right back.

The two males had some differences up-close. One didn't have the long tail. The one without the long tail had a much brighter orange in his bill.

Long-tailed Duck used to be called Oldsquaw and got changed for obvious reasons. The scientific name is Clangula hyemalis. Merriam-Webster thought that clangula came from clangere, meaning to scream. Hyemalis, like Equisetum hyemale and Aplectrum hyemale, means winter.

There were tons of other waterfowl in the open water at Geist. Too bad I couldn't count anything for my Hancock County list.

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