The female lays 7 to 9 cream-colored eggs at the rate of one per day. The male also has attractive grey, brown, and black patterning on its back and sides. Breeding for the Northern Pintail takes place between April and June. The nest is constructed on the ground and hidden amongst vegetation in a dry location, often some distance from water. Everything about the male looks sleek and elegant. The maximum recorded age of a Northern Pintail is 27 years and 5 months for a Dutch bird. Northern pintails are serially monogamous and form pair bonds that last only during one breeding season. The breeding habitat of Northern pintails is open unwooded wetlands, such as wet grassland, lakesides or tundra. The pintail or northern pintail is a duck with wide geographic distribution that breeds in the northern areas of Europe and across the Palearctic and North America. Small numbers migrate to Pacific islands, particularly Hawaii, where a few hundred birds winter on the main islands. When on land pintails feed by grazing, picking at the grain and digging out roots and tubers with their bill. The European population consists of 210,000-269,000 pairs, which equates to 419,000-539,000 mature individuals. It is a shallow scrape on the ground lined with plant material and down. Northern pintails are highly gregarious outside the breeding season and form very large mixed flocks with other ducks. The Northern Pintail’s breeding habitat is open unwooded wetlands, such as wet grassland, lakesides or tundra. Populations are also affected by the conversion of wetlands and grassland to arable crops, depriving pintails of feeding and nesting areas. Both sexes have blue-grey bills and grey legs and feet. Imagine my surprise when I came upon them in the marsh during the spring migration. Their long neck enables them to take food items from the bottom of water bodies up to 30 cm (12 in) deep. If there is a group of males, they will chase the female in flight until only one drake is left. In winter, they can be found in a wider range of open habitats, such as sheltered estuaries, brackish marshes, coastal lagoons, and flooded and dry agricultural fields. This is a large duck, … In parts of the range, such as Great Britain and the northwestern United States, pintails may be present all year. The female prepares for copulation, which takes place in the water, by lowering her body; the male then bobs his head up and down and mounts the female, taking the feathers on the back of her head in his mouth. The male has a dark brown head with a white line running up the back of the neck from the breast. During the nonbreeding season they use flooded and dry agricultural fields, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, saltmarshes, freshwater and brackish wetlands, and bays. There is a lot to learn about the Northern Pintail. If predators destroy the first clutch, the female can produce a replacement clutch as late as the end of July. The male is more striking, having a thin white stripe running from the back of its chocolate-colored head down its neck to its mostly white undercarriage. The scientific name of the Northern pintail comes from two Latin words: anas, meaning "duck", and acuta, which comes from the verb acuere, "to sharpen"; both the species term and the English name, refer to the pointed tail of the male in breeding plumage. These birds are popular for game shooting because of their speed, agility, and excellent eating qualities, and are hunted across their range. Breeding takes place between April and June, with the nest being constructed on the ground and hidden amongst vegetation in a dry location, often some distance from water. Spring planting means that many nests of these early breeding ducks are destroyed by farming activities, such as ploughing and harrowing. Its long neck enables it to take food items from the bottom of water bodies which are beyond the reach of other dabbling ducks like the Mallard. Pintails have a very fast flight, with their wings slightly swept-back, rather than straight out from the body like other ducks. If predators destroy the first clutch, the female can produce a replacement clutch as late as the end of July. Unusually for a bird with such a large range, it has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific duck Eaton's pintail is considered to be a separate species. During the nesting season, these birds eat mainly invertebrate animals, including aquatic insects, mollusks, and crustaceans. Northern pintails breed across northern areas of the Palearctic south to about Poland and Mongolia, and in Canada, Alaska and the Midwestern United States. The preferred habitat of Northern pintails is naturally susceptible to problems such as drought or the encroachment of vegetation and might be increasingly threatened by climate change. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the male looks similar to the female but retains the male upper wing pattern and long grey shoulder feathers. The precocial (well developed) downy chicks are then led by the female to the nearest body of water, where they feed on dead insects on the water surface. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing. These birds are generally quiet but the male's call is a soft proop-proop whistle, similar to that of the common teal, whereas the female has a mallard-like descending quack, and a low croak when flushed.