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Bird name:


Anas acuta




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:


Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Promiscuous

Egg Colour:

Smooth, waxy and cream, greenish or bluish.

Number of Eggs:

6 - 12

Incubation Days:

21 - 26

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

A slight hollow in vegetation lined with plants, down and sometimes feathers.

Nest Location:

On the ground amongst rushes, grass or low scrub and can be close to or more than 1 km away from water.


Some migrate


Pintail: Slender, long-necked duck with long, central tail feathers. Pale grey back and sides with fine black barring, some black and pale yellow feathers on back, black vent, and white underparts. Dark brown head and nape with white line on side of neck. Blue-grey bill. Dark green patch in wing. Adult female has pointed tail shorter than male, and is mottled tawny brown and black on back and flanks. Head and breast are pale, tawny-brown with some fine streaking. Throat pale buff, belly grey-white.

Range and Habitat

Pintail: Primarily a winter visitor to the UK; a few birds are summer or resident breeders. Though birds can be seen year round, most are seen in winter months. Visible in coastal Wales and England, throughout Ireland, and in Scottish Uplands. Habitat includes lakes, rivers and coasts.

Breeding and Nesting

Pintail: Nests in solitary pairs or loose groups. Seasonal pair bond but male is promiscuous. Female builds nest on the ground from vegetation and lines it with feathers and down. Female incubates eggs; male leaves female and nest after about one week. Female tends newly hatched young by herself.

Foraging and Feeding

Pintail: Requires a specific habitat like shallow pools in open grassland areas such as lakes, rivers, marshes & tundra. This bird feeds on a variety of plants and invertebrates found on the muddy bottoms.


Pintail: Soft nasal "geee," whistled "pruh" or "prripp."

Similar Species

Pintail: Wigeon has darker, browner plumage, a white rump, pink or buff breast, and yellow patch on the forehead.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX