Northern Pintail Duck (Anas acuta)

The Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) is a long-tailed duck known for its eye-catching feather covering known as
plumage. Although not common, these graceful ducks live right here in Connecticut. Look for them in our New England Farmyard Pond along with other wild waterfowl.

Description: 

Northern Pintails are slender, long-necked ducks. Males have a brownish head with a gray bill, white breast, grayish body and long, pointed black tail feathers. Females have a brownish head, slightly pointed tail feathers and a mottled gray-brown body which is perfectly camouflaged among wetland shore vegetation.

Habitat: 

Prairie ponds, marshes, lakes, canals, swamps, fields and tundra wetlands.

Range: 

Although they are more uncommon in the Northeastern United States, in North America, these ducks are found from Alaska and Canada throughout most of the United States. They migrate to the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and South America in the winter.

Diet: 

Grains, seeds, insects and grasses.

Life Span: 

Up to 27 years.

Family Life: 

Northern Pintails breed in spring and summer. Females incubate and lay 7 to 9 buff-greenish eggs in a shallow, bowl-shaped grass nest lined with down. These nests are constructed far from water. Incubation takes approximately 23 days. The female accompanies her young to water and teaches them how to find food. The ducklings mature quickly and fly at about 8 weeks of age.

Status: 

Although these ducks are relatively common throughout most of their range, they rely on disappearing wetland habitats for food, cover and nesting sites.