Date: 3/7/17 8:03 pm From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...> Subject: [obol] Yaquina Bay Long-tailed Ducks (sans long tails)
Since the Herring spawning event about 10 days ago, a few Long-tailed Ducks have been consorting with the Surf Scoters and other Diving Ducks eating Herring roe.
These duck have the most complicated molt sequences known among waterfowl, and show an incredible range of plumages. Chuck Philo and I have been trying to keep track of individuals, and over the last 10 days have recognized 10 different individuals, although we have never seem more than 5 at one time.
This afternoon, in stormy weather, I found 2 new individuals. One was a female pretty much on breeding plumage with a black head but white cheeks, white on the neck and chest, and blackish back and wings. The other is a male with longer back plumes and a prominent black tip on its bill.
i have never found more than 5 Long-tails here in previous winters.