Referred to as “greyhound of the air”, the Northern Pintails are long, slender ducks with long, narrow wings. This is a large sized duck. The drakes and the ducks have bluish grey bills and grey legs and feet. However, the drake has a more stunning appearance than the duck with its narrow white stripe that runs from the back of its chocolate-colored head down its neck to its mostly white undercarriage and grey, brown, and black patterning on its back and sides. The duck’s plumage is a drab brown.
This breed is vulnerable to a range of parasites such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, tapeworms, blood parasites and external feather lice and is also affected by other avian diseases. It is very important to keep rats and wild birds away from the duck feed to prevent the onset of diseases such as Bird Flu or Avian Flu. This can be avoided with the PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Duck Feeder as the feed is eaten straight away. Crumble can be served through either the 3/8 inch or ½ inch regulator disc. The ½ inch regulator disc from PECk-O-MATIC Automatic Duck Feeder can also be used for pellet, wheat, cracked corn, peas and barley.
The pintail walks and swims well. It is speedy in flight with its wings swept-back. Because of its speed and agility, the northern pintail is popular as a game bird. They are easy targets for terrestrial predators. The adults can take flight when foxes, badgers, gulls, crows and magpies attack them. The ducks when they are nesting are vulnerable to carnivores such as the bobcats. Goshawks and gyrfalcon are very adept at grabbing ducks from the ground.
The pintail is a dabbling bird and upends in shallow water for plant food usually in the evening or at night. They feed on seeds and rhizomes of aquatic plants, roots, grain and other seeds in fields. Invertebrate animals, including aquatic insects, molluscs and crustaceans are the diet for this breed during nesting season. The Northern Pintails habituate in open wetlands, such as wet grassland, lakesides or tundra.