The Northern Pintail


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The Northern Pintail is an elegant long tailed dabbling duck. They are very unique in North America with their long slender body and long pointed tail. The Pintail has a long neck and is very fast and agile in flight, nicknamed the “Greyhound of the air”.  The Northern Pintail male and female are very different with the female a very plain brown. The male has a bright white breast, chocolate brown  head and gray body with a very long tail.  They are Dabbling ducks, which means that they feed mostly on the surface of the water instead of diving underwater for food.  They  “up end” to  use their long necks to reach aquatic plants underwater with their tails in the air.  They  maintain this dabbling position with their head down by paddling their feet in the water. I sure am glad I don’t have to eat in that position with my head under water and tail in the air!


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sandra calderbank
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