Northern Pintail Duck
|Geographical Range||North America, Europe, Russia, Asia; winters in northern Africa, Pacific Islands|
|Habitat||Lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, ponds, barrens, tundra|
|Scientific Name||Anas acuta|
As their name implies, these ducks can be recognized by their long, needle-pointed tail feathers. Males are more striking than females (the females need protective colors to hide from predators as they sit on the nest). A male pintail duck has a dark brown head with a distinctive white stripe on the neck. Its breast and belly are bright white.
Female pintail ducks are good mothers. They sit on their six to 12 eggs until they hatch within about three weeks. After that, she will protect her brood with her life. If an intruder threatens, she will pretend to be injured, then lead the predator away from her chicks.
Within their range, northern pintails are one of the most common species of ducks. They migrate early in the winter to warmer climates.