Long Tailed Duck

Wintering ducks are filling up Falmouth harbors and inlets this time to year.  In addition to loons and grebes, you may be surprised by seeing a few Long-tailed Ducks.  This sea duck, formerly known as the Oldsquaw, breeds in the Arctic and moves south to spend the winter in offshore waters along the Atlantic coast.  They typically stay offshore but may been seen in local harbors as this one was seen recently in Quissett Harbor.  This female has a stubby gray bill, white underparts, dark upperparts, and a dark crown and cheek patch.  This deep diving duck can dive underwater for prolonged periods of time and reach depths of 200 feet!