Pintail duck, photos and videos about which you will see in this article - without exaggeration, one of the most beautiful and most common ducks in the world. She lives in the waters of America, in Europe and in Asia. In our country, it can often be found in the tundra, as well as in the taiga, although it tries to avoid forest and overgrown sites. According to experts, the hunt for this duck is very difficult. Why, find out with us.
This duck got its unusual loud name due to the fact that the tail has several long feathers that resemble an awl. In size, this bird is slightly smaller than the mallard, very elegant and agile. Pintail rises from the water without the usual run-up for birds, quickly picks up speed and flies very quickly. That is why the hunt for this duck is considered one of the most difficult.
As many ornithologists and avid hunters say, pintail is truly one of the most attractive ducks. She has a neat physique and beautiful color. In spring and summer, the male has a very contrasting plumage. Brown and gray tones predominate more in feathers, but mixing with white and black impregnations creates a very beautiful appearance. The females in terms of plumage color resemble most of the other wild ducks, as seen in the photo.
The slender, graceful body is complemented by an elongated neck, a narrow long tail, and also pointed wings. The average weight of an adult male varies from 600 to 1300 grams (depending on the area of residence and the season), females reach 400-1000 grams. On wings, the pintail mirror has a purple color with an unusual bronze tint. It is this feature that attracts many connoisseurs of duck beauty.
Both females and males of these ducks reach sexual maturity at the age of one year, therefore, as a rule, they mate by the end of the first year. First, on the wintering grounds around December, the flocks mix and the males begin to mating. In various poses, the drake tries to attract the attention of the female you like. It can emit a characteristic whistle or rattling sound of the wings.
As a rule, pairs are formed during wintering, therefore, birds come to the nesting sites with partners. Single males fly themselves and continue to search for a female already directly in the homeland. Pintail is one of the very first ducks that returns after hibernation. They can be seen on the banks of rivers and lakes when the surface of the water is still completely covered with ice.
Unlike other types of ducks, pintail females prefer to build a nest away from the place where her childhood passed. They often drift apart and explore new territories. Birds build a nest on the ground, sometimes at a distance of up to 1.5 km from the reservoir. Prefer overgrown reeds or grass. The litter is very scanty, the duck collects only a little grass and lays down fluff around the perimeter of the nest.
One clutch consists of 7-10 eggs. If something happens to eggs, for example, a predator eats them, then the female postpones again. A duck hatching eggs for about 25 days, the male leaves at this time. Hatching chicks mature quickly and after a couple of hours go for mom to the pond. After 40 days, they already know how to fly.
Spread and way of life
The pintail duck flies very well and swims, but she does not like to dive, therefore she prefers to spend most of her time above water. The bird spreads over very large areas, reaching even the coast of the arctic continents. It settles in Europe, Asia, in America, but the most numerous in the western part of Eurasia. On the territory of our country pintail can be seen almost everywhere.
As for wintering, only the bird populations of Great Britain and also in the western United States lead a settled way of life. In other areas duck migratory. In Eurasia, there are three zones of wintering and migration of pintails. The first is the western part of Europe, the second is the Black Sea coast, the Mediterranean and West Africa, the third is the Middle East, East Africa and the Persian Gulf.
In Europe, duck winters in Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, northwestern France and the UK. As for other countries of the world, for example, in India during wintering the Pintail population is the most numerous.
Migration and moulting
Males of pintails, like many other ducks, also make small migrations at the time of the molt. At the beginning of June, before a period of molting, ducks of drakes leave their nesting sites and fly away to more protected areas. For example, they choose large reed lakes, large river deltas or lower reaches. Lonely females can sometimes fly to these areas, as well as those that have lost their clutch. In our country, pintails are molded in the deltas of the Volga, Ob and Ural rivers during molting.
Due to its long, delicate neck, ducks pintail can get food from sufficient depth, but they rarely dive and only slightly submerge the head in water.
In general, food is mixed and depends largely on the habitat of the birds. So, for example, in the northern zones ducks eat more animal feed, and in the south - vegetable. From vegetable fodder the bird prefers grains, as well as parts of various near-water plants, including those like duckweed, sedge and lake reed.
In spring and summer, various mollusks, small crustaceans, insect larvae, mosquitoes, and beetles appear in the diet. In small numbers and mainly in northern latitudes, the duck eats small fish, tadpoles, shrimp and leeches.