A foraging group of Clangula hyemalis (Long-tailed Duck) was observed on 10 February 2010 diving behind a commercial boat that was clamming near Monomoy Island, Nantucket Sound, MA. We used a shotgun to collect 9 of the ducks, and our analyses of gizzard and gullet (esophagus and proventriculus) revealed 37 food items in the gizzard and 16 in the gullet. Mollusca were the dominant food in the gizzard (49%), whereas Crustacea were dominant in the gullet (57%). Crustacea were the second most important food in the gizzard (38%), whereas Mollusca were the second most important food in the gullet (31%). Relatively high volumes of the Amphipoda Caprella sp. (skeleton shrimp) and the Decopoda Crangon septemspinosa (Sand Shrimp) were recorded in the gullet and gizzard. Ensis directus (Atlantic Jackknife Clam) formed the greatest volume of Mollusca in the gizzard (15%) and in the gullet (15%). Long-tailed Ducks had fed on this Bivalvia and several other species of Mollusca that had no shell or broken shell when consumed. Many of the food organisms were apparently dislodged and some damaged by the clamming operation creating an opportunistic feeding strategy for the Long-tailed Ducks.
|Title||Atypical feeding behavior of Long-tailed Ducks in the wake of a commercial fishing boat while clamming|
|Authors||Matthew Perry, Peter C. Osenton, Timothy P. White|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Northeastern Naturalist|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center|