There's a possibility that Spring is taking hold here in Tennessee. It is beautiful and nearly 70 degrees today and I welcome the sunshine after a week of rain. One of the things I do several times weekly is check the ABA website for Tennessee to see if there are any peculiar waterfowl sightings nearby. There was a note regarding a Long Tailed Duck seen yesterday at Shute Branch Recreation Area. After a drive over to a frequent birding hot spot, Snow Bunting Peninsula, off Old Hickory Lake, I drove farther east to Shute Branch hoping to catch a glimpse of this Life Bird for me.
Sure enough there it was albeit a female or perhaps an immature female or male. Sometimes no amount of research online will allow you to put a finger on exactly what gender a bird is. I do know the breeding male Long Tailed Ducks have the beautiful markings and long long tail feathers and that is certainly not what I photographed today. But if this is a male, in time he will be a beauty.
Oddly, this duck was swimming and diving for food right off the shore next to the smaller boat launch at Shute Branch. And even when I got closer to the shore, the duck didn't seem to mind at all and continued with the task at hand. I would love to see a male breeding Long Tailed Duck as they look so beautiful when I see photos online.
These ducks winter along eastern and western North America and the Great Lakes and southern Europe and Russia. Clearly, this duck was a bit inland. Long Tailed Ducks breed in Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe and northern Russia. The male is quite vocal which leads me to believe this is a female as it never uttered a sound the entire time I photographed it. Have a great week. I took tomorrow off and plan to visit Franklin just south of Nashville. ENJOY!
Linking to Sunlit Sundays and Birdin D'Pot