Latvian Ornithological Society Global alliance of conservation organisations working together for the world's birds and people


Long-tailed Duck - The Bird of the Year 2013

Male Long-tailed Duck in winter. Photo by Igors Denisovs

Latvian Ornithological Society (LOB) has chosen Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis to be "The Bird of the Year 2013". During the campaign LOB will raise the awareness of the species, and advocate for a national conservation plan for it.

Long-tailed Duck breeds in tundra but from November until May it stays in the Baltic Sea. If the sea is not frozen over, approximately 7% of the birds spend the winter in the territorial waters of Latvia. During the migration also large part of the birds witnering in Cermany, Polands, Sweden and Lithuania stop in the Strait of Irbe.

In 2012 IUCN classified Long-tailed Duck as a globally threatened species due to the population decline of 65% in the Baltic Sea during the last 16 years. The decline of the population of Long-tailed Duck is recorded also in the territorial waters of Latvia. In its breeding areas Long-tailed Duck is threatened by habitat transformation and loss, both due to natural causes and caused by man (drilling for oil and gas), but in the wintering areas - pollution, competition for food and fishermen's nets.

During this year LOB will try to let as many people as possible learn of this species that it still quite common by our coasts. In addition we will advocate for a coservation plan for the species to identify the threats and evaluate our oppurtunities to deal with them.

Additional information: Coordinator of "The Bird of the Year" campaign Antra Stipniece, phone: +371-26542733, e-mail: