Northern Pintail Anas acuta
- Length: 18.5 inches Wingspan: 35 inches
- Medium-sized dabbling duck with very long neck, small head and
- Juvenile similar to adult female
Adult male alternate:
- Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer
- Pale gray bill with black stripe down center
- Dark brown head
- White neck, breast and belly with white finger extending up back of neck
to rear part of face
- Gray flanks and back with black centers to back feathers
- Whitish patch at rear portion of flanks bordering undertail coverts
- Black undertail coverts
- Long, black central tail feathers
- Green speculum with white rear border and chestnut forward border
Adult male basic:
- Similar to adult female but retains green speculum
- Gray bill
- Tan head and neck
- Mottled tan and dark brown back and body plumage, paler on belly
- Brown speculum with white rear border
Adult male unmistakable in alternate plumage.
Females, immature and eclipse-plumage males are similar to many other female
ducks but have a distinctive shape: very long-necked, small-headed and
pointed-tailed. Note also female's brown speculum bordered at the rear by white.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds
of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Above information used courtesy of
United States Geological Survey.