Date: 3/4/19 1:01 pm
From: Stephen Broker via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: [CT Birds] How Rare are Inland Long-tailed Ducks?
A beautifully plumaged drake Long-tailed Duck has been observed and photographed very well on the Connecticut River in Glastonbury from February 17 through yesterday. Sightings have been made from Glastonbury Meadows, Riverfront Park, and the Glastonbury Boathouse (Welles Street). Observers have commented that Long-tailed Ducks are rare inland. How rare are Long-tailed Ducks on Connecticut’s inland rivers and lakes in winter?

The Connecticut Christmas Bird Counts give an incomplete picture in response to this question, but here are the reports of Long-tailed Ducks on CT CBCs over the past 30 years:

Northern CBCs:
Barkhamsted - 12/27/2008 (Count Week); 12/22/2018 (2)
Bristol - none
Edwin Way Teale, Trail Wood - none
Hartford - 12/18/2004 (1); 12/15/2007 (1)
Litchfield Hills - 12/20/1992 (2); 12/19/1999 (Count Week); 12/16/2001 (Count Week); 12/14/2003 (Count Week); 12/19/2010 (Count Week)
Lakeville-Sharon - 12/20/1998 (2)
Storrs - none

Mid-State CBCs:
Oxford - none
Pawling.Hidden Valley - 1/1/2009 (1)
Quinnipiac Valley - 12/17/2017 (3)
Salmon River - 12/15/2013 (Count Week)
Woodbury-Roxbury - 12/18/2004 (Count Week); 12/17/2016 (1); 12/16/2017 (1)

Summary: A total of 14 Long-tailed Ducks have been reported on inland rivers or lakes on CT CBC Count Days with an additional 7 Count Week reports over the last 30 years of Connecticut Christmas Bird Counts. During the same time span, there have been more than 24,000 Long-tailed Ducks reported on Connecticut’s Coastal Christmas Bird Counts. The term ‘rare’ thus seems totally appropriate for inland Long-tailed Ducks in winter.

Steve Broker

This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
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