northern pintail

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

CLASS Aves | ORDER Anseriformes | FAMILY Anatidae

RANGE North America, Europe, Russia, Asia; winters in northern Africa, Pacific Islands

HABITAT Lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, ponds, barrens, tundra

DIET Grain, seeds, weeds, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and snails

1 - 3 lbs

20 – 30 in

3 – 12 eggs

IUCN Status
Least Concern
northern pintail

Male northern pintails have a chocolate-brown head with a white stripe on each side of the neck extending up from the white breast and belly. Female northern pintails have a dark brown upper body with a buff or gray head and lower body.

Pintails dabble and up end to feed on the seeds of moist soil and aquatic plants.

northern pintail

The Northern Pintail is among the earliest nesting ducks in North America, beginning shortly after ice-out in many northern areas. If an intruder threatens, a female pintail will pretend to be injured, then lead the predator away from her chicks.