Long-tailed Duck Research

Long-tailed duck © Wolfgang Wander, Wikimedia
Long-tailed duck © Wolfgang Wander, Wikimedia

As part of the environmental review of the Cape Wind Energy Project, Mass Audubon studied the use of the Nantucket Sound by waterfowl.

Nantucket Sound is the winter home for large numbers of sea ducks, particularly long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), all three North American scoters, and common eider. Long-tailed duck is listed as vulnerable to global extinction, and relies heavily on Massachusetts’ coast for its overwintering habitat. Learn More

Between 2003 and 2006, Mass Audubon staff conducted extensive aerial surveys (visual counts from small aircraft) of the Sound to identify areas used by sea ducks during daylight hours. Mass Audubon additionally partnered with USGS on a satellite tracking study to gather information about nighttime roosting locations in winter 2007-2009. Learn More

Our data addressed several questions about long-tailed duck distribution around Nantucket Sound, and revealed no direct evidence that long-tailed ducks used Horseshoe Shoals as a nighttime roosting site or regularly spent time there during daylight hours. Learn More