Long-tailed Duck - Clangula hyemalis


The Long-tailed Duck is a small, neat sea duck. They have small round heads and steep foreheads. In winter the male is mainly white with some brownish-black markings. Males also have greatly elongated tails feathers - hence the name. Females are browner. In flight they show all dark wings and white bellies.

Identification difficulty

The best chance of seeing Long-tailed Ducks is from sea watching points around the coast in winter, particularly in northern Scotland, Shetland and Orkney.

When to see it

Most often seen in winter.

Life History

Feeds on mussels, cockles, clams, crabs and small fish.

UK Status

They do not breed in the UK but protection of their wintering sites is important, because they are vulnerable to oil pollution at sea. A winter visitor and passage migrant to the UK, most common from Northumberland north to northern Scotland.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire & Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map