Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)


The Pintail has a length of 66cm and can weigh between 750-1,050g for males, and a length of 56cm and can weigh between 600-850g for females. Males have a longer neck, white stripe from its crown, which spreads along its breast, and a brown head. They have a grey on their sides and back, with black, brown and grey patterns for their wing. Has the distinctive feature of a pointed, long black tail to give the pintail name.Female Northern Pintails’ have a similar appearance to female Shovelers’ but have white-grey feathers and pale grey rump with brown in the inner feathers.Norhtern Pintails’ spend their feeding time in shallow water for plant food mainly in the evening or night, so spends much of the day resting.


The Northern Pintail live in lakes and marshes in the summer, and in the winter can live mainly coastal, but can be widespread inland in small numbers.


The Northern Pintail feed on a wide range of plant matter, including seed and sometimes roots.They can also eat some worms, crustaceans and other invertebrates, especially during nesting season.

Protection Status 

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

The Northern Pintails’ long neck enables it to take food from the bottom of water bodies up to 30cm deep, beyond other ducks like the Mallard. 

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