Skip to main content

Long-tailed Duck

Russ Reynolds sends along some of his characteristically beautiful photos of a Long-tailed Duck that was found by Jill Bowers on April 2 on Grand Lake St. Marys. Enjoy.
Photo: Russ Reynolds
Drake Long-tailed Duck, still in winter plumage. The duck should be in the beginning stages of undergoing molt and transformation into its breeding plumage, in which it will become much blacker and quite different in appearance.
Photo: Russ Reynolds

Stretching his wings. This "Oldsquaw" (its former name) has a long way to go. Long-tails breed throughout the Arctic and near Arctic regions of North America, and nearly around the globe at high latitudes. The closest nesting locale to Grand Lake St. Marys is probably a good 1,200 miles or so to the north.

Photo: Russ Reynolds

A great catch by Russ on this one. It appears that the duck must have just surfaced from a dive, and is shaking off like a wet dog. Reaching the bottom of the very shallow Grand Lake would hardly be a challenge for a beast such as this. Long-tailed Ducks are champion divers, capable of reaching depths of over 200 feet.

Photo: Russ Reynolds

We don't see many Long-tailed Ducks in Ohio, and observing one here is always a treat. Elsewhere on the Great Lakes, they can occur by the thousands. The two lakes that flank our Lake Erie, Ontario and Michigan, get vastly more Long-tails as the ducks prefer the deeper colder water bodies, apparently.

Thanks to Jill Bowers for finding this bird, and to Russ for photo-documenting it.


Randy Kreager said…
Wow! Thanks for sharing! I think that I was in high school, the last time I saw an old squaw.

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…