Clangula hyemalis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Anseriformes > Anatidae
The Long-tailed Duck is a winter visitor to UK coastal waters, arriving from their arctic breeding grounds.
Almost all of the world’s breeding Long-tailed Ducks are found within the Arctic Circle and, as such, it is hardly surprising that the majority of those wintering in the UK do so in the north, around Shetland, Orkney and north-east Scotland. Smaller numbers are found further south along England's east coast, and a few individuals may be found on inland waters.
BirdTrack data indicate that Long-tailed Ducks begin arriving in UK waters during October and reach their peak in mid-November. It is estimated that around 14,000 birds spend the winter here.
Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck identification is usually straightforward.
Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Long-tailed Duck, provided by xeno-canto contributors.
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Status and Trends
Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.
This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.
|UK winter population||-16% decrease (1995/96 to 2020/21)|
In winter, Long-tailed Ducks tend to occur well offshore in deep waters, so the numbers detected from the shore may give a misleading impression of distribution and abundance. During Bird Atlas 2007–11
Occupied 10-km squares in UK
|No. occupied in winter||500|
|% occupied in winter||17|
European Distribution Map
The small range expansion in winter has mostly been in marginal areas; elsewhere the population has declined.
Change in occupied 10-km squares in the UK
|% change in range in breeding season (1968–72 to 2008–11)||-100%|
|% change in range in winter (1981–84 to 2007–11)||+5.6%|
Long-tailed Ducks are locally common winter visitors, mostly present from October to May.
Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.
Lifecycle and body size information about Long-tailed Duck, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.
View number ringed each year in the Online Ringing Report
|Maximum Age from Ringing||20 years 0 months 4 days (set in 1987)|
|Typical Lifespan||5 years with breeding typically at 2 year|
|Field Codes||2-letter: LN | 5-letter code: LOTDU | Euring: 2120|
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