northern pintail in exhibit

Northern Pintail

Scientific Name

Anas acuta

Class

Aves

Order

Anseriformes

Range

Northern Hemisphere

Habitat

Wetlands, lakes, and rivers

Estimated Wild Population

7,200,000
Northern pintail in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Northern pintails were named after their long, pointed tail feathers, which can reach up to four inches in length. They are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. Males have a dark brown head and a white breast that darkens to gray and black along their back and wings. Females have a more uniform speckled-brown appearance. They feed on plants, aquatic insects, and crustaceans below the water's surface.

Interesting Fact 1

Northern pintails migrate seasonally from northern Canada and Eurasia to Central America, northern Africa, and southern mainland Asia.

Interesting Fact 2

Mating season begins in early May, and females lay seven to nine eggs.

Interesting Fact 3

Females feign injury to divert predators from their young.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care. 

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.  

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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