Northern Pintail Anas acuta
(aka Common Pintail)
Male Pintail, Flevoland, Netherlands, April 2002 - click for larger image Northern Pintail breed in the northern parts of North America, Europe and Asia and winter further south but rarely, if ever, crossing the Equator. There are small numbers of breeders in western Europe including Britain and the Netherlands.

Photos 1 and 2 were taken in the Netherlands, photo 3 in Crete and photos 4 and 5 in the Yukon, Canada.
Pintail, Flevoland, Netherlands, April 2002 - click for larger image They feed on seed, tubers and aquatic plants and include insects, small fish and amphibians in their diet during spring and summer. They feed on both land and water and show a strong preference for shallow, open areas of water. They are dabbling ducks and their long necks may be an adaptation to give an advantage over other dabbling ducks.
Pintail, Bramiana Reservoir, Crete, October 2002 - click for larger image In flight, the male, seen at the top of the 3rd photo shows the blackish-green speculum running the length of the secondaries and bordered in front by a bronze strip and, to the rear, by a white strip. The female at the bottom of the photo shows a dark brown speculum bordered by pale brown at the front and a conspicuous white strip to the rear. The bird in the middle is, I suspect, an eclipse male since it shows the male colouring on the speculum but does not show male plumage around the head.
Pintail, Dezadeash Lake, Yukon, Canada, May 2009 - click for larger image There is a distribution map for the Americas from NatureServe and additional information available via Avibase.
Pintail, Dezadeash Lake, Yukon, Canada, May 2009 - click for larger image
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