Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Tim Avery
Photo Copyright Tim Avery

The long-tailed duck, Clangula hyemalis, is a sea duck that breeds in arctic and sub-arctic areas of the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, breeding occurs in Alaska and northern Canada, and primary wintering areas include the Great Lakes Region, as well as the coasts of Alaska, Canada, and the northern United States. The long-tailed duck is an occasional migrant through northern Utah in the late fall and early spring, and is a rare winter resident of the state. The long-tailed duck is hunted throughout much of its range, but few are taken in Utah.

The long-tailed duck is typically found near coasts, large inland lakes, and occasionally large rivers. It often nests in colonies; nests are constructed in vegetation on arctic tundra, usually near water. The female lays a clutch of five to eleven eggs; the eggs are incubated by the female alone for about 25 days. The young, which are tended by the female, become independent at about five weeks of age.

Fishes and aquatic invertebrates comprise the bulk of the diet, but aquatic plants are also consumed.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.