Satellite tracking of long-tail ducks over three wintering seasons confirms that while they use the Nantucket Sound regularly in their daily movements, they did not use the area proposed for the Cape Wind Energy Project as a roosting site during the time frame of the study.
The U.S. Geological Survey research looked at one of the world’s largest populations of long-tail ducks and found that hundreds of thousands of these elusive birds engage in a bizarre 30-50 mile morning commute from Nantucket Sound to the Atlantic Ocean, returning each evening.
The study concludes that though it is critically important to protect this wintering habitat for the long-tailed ducks and other wildlife, during the years of study, long-tail ducks did not use the Horseshoe Shoals area that’s being proposed for the wind farm for roosting.
USGS Research Scientists Drs. Alicia Berlin, Glenn Olsen, and Matthew Perry, are presenting these findings along with their colleagues at Massachusetts Audubon Society at the 4th International Sea Duck Conference this week in Seward, Alaska.