Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

Anas acuta photo © by Michael Plagens

Photo taken at Gilbert, Arizona, February 2009. This is the male, or drake, one of the easiest duck species to recognize.

The hen Northern Pintail is speckled brown and white. Pintails live on shallow ponds or lakes where they dabble for aquatic plants. Before man diverted virtually all the water from the Gila and Colorado Rivers there was plenty of natural habitat for waterfowl in the Sonoran Desert. Cibola and Imperial National Wildlife Refuges on the Colorado River remain as important wintering grounds for thousands of water birds. They can be found during the winter on urban ponds and wastewater treatment ponds.

Northern Pintail are distributed across North America, Europe and Asia. They nest in the northern latitudes, sometimes as far north as the Arctic tundra.

Winter Resident - migration from north - absent in summer

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 20 Feb. 2009,
updated 19 Jan. 2019.