Pintail, Common Pintail
Mongolian: Шовтгоралаг нугас
Japanese: オナガガモ (Onaga-gamo)
Wing span: 80-95 cm
Passage migrant/ summer visitor
Breeding season: Ma-September
Egg number: 7-9
Creamy white to greenish to bluish
Brood: 1 per year
Global status: Least concern
Regional status: Least Concern
Habitat: Breeds on lakes in lowland and steppe, also mountain and
tundra pools. Local breeder in Britain. Partly migratory.
Nearly Mallard-sized but much more slim and elegant. Wings long, narrow and
pointed; tail long and pointed, on ♂ markedly so; neck long and narrow; head
small; a greyhound among ducks! Flight fast, outer wings swept back a little,
long neck and tail obvious.
- Adult ♂ breeding:
Unmistakable, with long central tail-feathers; head and upper neck brown,
breast and lower neck white, extending as narrow stripe into brown of head on
each side. Speculum blackish-green, bordered white at rear and pale rufous at
- Adult ♀: like
a slim ♀ Mallard, scalloped and mottled brown, but: slim bill dark grey; head
almost uniformly brownish, contrasting with rather grey body with more coarse,
patchy marks; and speculum dark brown, at front thinly (hardly visible) but at
rear prominently bordered white (visible at a mile!). Belly pale
- Adult ♂ eclipse:
As adult ♀ but retains upperwing of adult ♂, and scapulars are longer and
As adult ♀ but less neatly scalloped on body, more diffusely spotted and
barred. White trailing edge of secondaries less broad, speculum duller brown,
tinged greenish on ♂♂.
Grazes in wet meadows with short vegetation and insects.