Considered one of the most handsome ducks, the northern pintail has a slender build, long neck and pointed tail feathers, from which it derives its name. The northern pintail is widespread across North America, Europe and Asia.
Northern pintail behavior and facts
- The northern pintail is graceful and acrobatic in flight – and is nicknamed 'greyhound of the air' for its rapid flight.
- Northern pintails are omnivorous, feeding on algae, seeds, grasses, insects and small fish.
- Northern pintails typically feed at night on the ground in shallow water, or by diving to reach submerged plants.
- The northern pintail breeds from April to June in solitary pairs or loose groups.
- They typically construct their nests further away from water than most other duck species.
- Northern pintails nest in a slight hollow on the ground lined with grass and down – in dense vegetation.
- They lay 7-9 eggs and incubate them for 22-24 days.
IUCN Least concern
Northern pintails, the Oregon Zoo and you
The zoo's northern pintails live in the Cascade Stream and Pond aviary.
DID YOU KNOW?
Metro's voter-approved Natural Areas Program has protected more than 90 miles of rivers and streams in the Portland region. Find out how Metro is working to conserve and restore habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.