Belongs to: dabbling ducks

Compare with: long-tailed duck

Pintail Anas acuta

BoCC Amber list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Slim, attractive duck with a long, sharply pointed tail that gives it its name

Habitat: marshes, estuaries and freshwater

Widespread winter visitor from N. Europe and Iceland; scarce breeder in Britain, very occasionally in Essex


Male slim with brown head, long pointed tail, yellow/black rear and grey body; smaller female brown with short tail; 55 cm

Feeds on invertebrates and aquatic vegetation, mostly by up-ending although also dabbles in margins

Walks very easily for a duck; flight very strong and quick

© Alan Williams