British Waterfowl Association

Northern Pintail

drake Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail drake - Edward Giles

Their characteristic long neck enables them to reach food below the surface that is out of reach to other dabbling ducks. It also allows them to peer over tall grass, a favoured element of their habitat.

Upending Northern Pintail - Morag Jones

Anas acuta

Northern Pintail are numerous and widely spread. Their habitat ranges from lakes and marshes in open areas through to grassland and rivers and coastal regions.

Northern Pintail are an elegant addition to any wildfowl collection, are easy to keep and winter hardy. The male plumage is an attractive dove grey with brown head and white breast and stripe whilst the female is brown. Both male and female are large, slender and long-necked birds with a distinctive pointed tail.

Northern Pintail pair - BWA
Northern Pintail preening - Morag Jones

Given the right habitat, Pintail breed readily. They tend to like tall grasses, but also accept nest boxes when kept in a wildfowl collection. A typical clutch of 6-10 eggs takes 21-23 days to hatch.