Sunday, 8 November 2009

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Latin Etymology: Anas ("duck") acuta ("sharp pointed")
Adult male Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) at Rutland Water, Rutland - February 2016

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 500-1450g  /  Length: 50-65cm  /  Wingspan: 80-95cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The pintail is mostly a winter migrant - it breeds in far northern locations such as Iceland, Greenland and Scandinavia before heading south to the UK and their other Wintering grounds.  There is apparently a small breeding population, but generally it is going to be far easier to locate once they have migrated in. The male is quite a striking duck, and it gets its name from (not very surprisingly) its long thin tail, which often sticks directly upright when it is dabbling for food. Look out for it in groups of other ducks in Winter - generally for best views you'll need a hide close to the water which in optimal conditions, will have them feeding very close by.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas
Subspecies: none - monotypic

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding resident (9-33 pairs) and Common Winter Visitor (29,000 birds)
 - Seen in Winter at sites including Rutland WaterRainham Marshes,Pitsford Reservoir and Eyebrook Reservoir.

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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