Northern Pintail

Anas acuta
Range Map

Male Northern Pintails are elegantly adorned birds. In North America, this bird breeds across most of Canada, Alaska, and the north central USA, but they are also native to Europe and Asia.

The Northern Pintail population has dropped by almost half in the past half century. Most researchers believe the primary culprit is habitat loss and agricultural practices that destroy nests. The US Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates hunting and adjusts regulations with population fluctuations. Drought periods show a corresponding decrease in numbers, and wet years result in some population recovery.

Most of the Pintails I’ve met have been birds wintering in California, but Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas hosted some birds wintering there too.

Despite their global presence, today science views Northern Pintails as monotypic (i.e. no subspecies are recognised).

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