AudioDateDownLeftRightUpIconClosefacebookReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridListMapMenunoAudionoPhotoPhotoPlayPlusSearchStartwitterUserVideo

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

Order:
Anseriformes
Family:
Anatidae
Sections

Multimedia

Powered by Macaulay Library and eBird

Welcome to the Birds of North America Online!

You are currently viewing one of the free species accounts available in our complementary tour of BNA. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this species.

For complete access to all species accounts, a subscription is required. Subscriptions are available for as little as $5 for 30 days of complete access! If you would like to subscribe to BNA, please visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology E-Store or call us at 877-873-2626 (M-F, 8:00-4:00 ET).

Photos from this Account

Adult female Northern Pintail with hatchlings; San Mateo Co., CA; May.

Hatchlings are completely downy, with brownish gray pattern color on back and wing, and darker brown eye stripe and crown; back darkest on rump. Throat, chin, and belly are white tinged with yellow, with linear rump and scapular spots white. Appears much less yellow than other dabbling ducklings. Taken 7 May, 2011 at Radio Road Ponds, Redwood City, San Mateo County, California. The following is a link to this contributor's Flickr stream: Cedric Duhalde.

Northern Pintail nest.

Northern Pintail. Goodnews Bay, Alaska. 27 May 1949 (nest and eggs); photographer WFVZ

Northern Pintail eggs.

Northern Pintail. Goodnews Bay, Alaska. 27 May 1949 (nest and eggs); photographer WFVZ

Adult male Northern Pintail; Maricopa Co., AZ; December.

Adult male (Definitive Alternate) Northern Pintail. Note overall slender and elegant appearance. Chocolate-brown head with white neck stripe and underparts. Bill is black with bluish gray stripes. Eyes are dark brown. Central tail feathers are long and black, with black rear end bordered by yellowish tan patch. Sides and upperparts gray, with long and black lower back feathers with pale edges. Rear of wing (speculum) bronzy greenish with black band and white rear edge. Legs are gray. Taken 23 December, 2011 at Papago Park, Tempe, Maricopa County, Arizona. The following link is to this contributor's Flickr stream: missbeanie., Oct 31, 2007; photographer Steve Zamek

Adult female Northern Pintail in flight; Victoria, BC; February.

Adult female Northern Pintail in flight. Note tan crown and face with whitish cast to chin. Back and rump brown with lighter edges to feathers, giving a scalloped appearance. Tail pointed, with central tail feathers longest. Speculum is a bronzy green, banded by black and white rear edge. Taken 2 February, 2009 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The following is a link to this contributor's website: Glenn Bartley Nature Photography.

Adult male and female Northern Pintail foraging; Skagit Co., WA; December.

Northern Pintails typically tip vertically when feeding. Also dabbles for food items at water surface by filter feeding with bill, and sometimes dives to reach bottom seeds. Taken 9 December, 2013 at Padilla Bay, Anacortes, Skagit County, Washington. The following is a link to this contributor's Flickr stream: -jon.

Adult female Northern Pintail; Victoria, BC; January.

Adult female Northern Pintail in winter.  Bill of female is typically dark, although some females (like this one) may show some blue. Blue on bill of female is generally duller, and less obvious, if present. Strong scapular pattern with dark center suggests this is an adult. Taken 14 January, 2008 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The following is a link to this contributor's website: Glenn Bartley Nature Photography.

Adult male Northern Pintail; Richmond, BC; January.

Adult male (Definitive Alternate) Northern Pintail. Note overall slender and elegant appearance. Chocolate-brown head with white neck stripe and underparts. Bill is black with bluish gray stripes. Eyes are dark brown. Central tail feathers are long and black, with black rear end bordered by yellowish tan patch. Sides and upperparts gray, with long and black lower back feathers with pale edges. Rear of wing (speculum) bronzy greenish with black band and white rear edge. Legs are gray. Taken 13 January, 2013 at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. The following is a link to this contributor's Flickr stream: Brian Hampson.

Adult male ("eclipse" plumage) Northern Pintail; Burnaby Lake, BC; September.

Adult male ("eclipse" plumage) Northern Pintail. Note bi-colored blue and black bill and lack of pattern in scapulars and tertials. Taken 4 September, 2013 at Burnaby Lake, British Columbia, Canada. The following is a link to this contributor's Flickr stream: Gregory Lis.

Adult male Northern Pintail in flight; Victoria, BC; February.

Adult male (Definitive Alternate) Northern Pintail in flight. Note chocolate-brown head, and white neck and underparts, with white extending up back of neck in thin line. Speculum is bronzy greenish with black band and white rear edge. The combination of this duck's slender neck and long black central tail feathers give it a characteristic shape in flight. Taken 4 February, 2009 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The following is a link to this contributor's website: Glenn Bartley Nature Photography.

Recommended Citation

Clark, Robert G., Joseph P. Fleskes, Karla L. Guyn, David A. Haukos, Jane E. Austin and Michael R. Miller. 2014. Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.163