Sunday, March 15, 2015

Long Tailed Duck

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


  1. How beautiful is that?!!! I too check the ABA [for Texas tho] most days in hopes of some vagrant or rare bird sighted in my area.

    You managed to capture this 'lifer' to perfection!!

    Thanks for sharing the link this weekend.

  2. Carol, you have captured on of my all time favourites. Congrats on another lifer.

    As you rightly say the male in full breeding plumage is a stunner but even this juvenile is a corker. With all the different winter weather patterns it is not unusual to find stray individuals seeking refuge inland.

  3. Great sighting! Nice looking juvenile who will surely grow into a beaut.

  4. Beautiful, just the tiniest movement in the water, reflection lovely, and I hope you get to see more of these ducks soon.

  5. The reflections in the water are lovely, so sharp and clear!