The northern pintail

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A northern pintail is seen at Shenzhen Bay Park.

The northern pintail

Coming to visit our amazing city every year during its migration season, the beautiful northern pintail (Anas acuta) is one of the most beautiful ducks you can experience in Shenzhen.


The northern pintail inhabits the northern hemisphere of the planet, being a resident in the United States , Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland, but migrates during their non-breeding season to southern territories to spend the winter months in places such as Mexico and all over central America to even the northern most part of Colombia, some Sub-Saharan African regions, and Southeast Asia including our lucky city.


 A northern pintail is seen at Shenzhen Bay Park.

Pintails can grow up to 65 centimeters long with a 90-cm wingspan. These amazing ducks are characterized by having a long thin neck and a pointy tail and adorned by astonishing coloration.

Males are of a striking brown coloration on their necks and head, with white stripes on both sides of the neck. The breast and belly are white but fade into a yellowish coloration on the lower belly; the wings are mottled gray with black. When open, their wings display beautiful orange, green and white feathers. The tail is pointy with black feathers and can be fully seen when the duck holds a vertical position while foraging for food.


Pintails feed mainly on plant parts, including seeds, roots or even leaves, but they also include a high percentage of animal matter in their diet, feeding on insects, snails and crabs.


A northern pintail is seen at Shenzhen Bay Park.

During the breeding season in spring, they can lay up to 12 eggs per clutch that females will incubate during a period of three to four weeks. Ducklings will start coming out in turns, usually after 24 hours from each other and their parents will take care of them for a period of up to six weeks during which time the mother will be extra protective of her offspring.


The Shenzhen Bay Park is where you can enjoy these fantastic creatures while they spend their non-breeding season here. Let’s keep working hard to preserve the amazing creatures that call our city home.