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Spread and habitat
It is found in Europe, Asia and North America. Migratory species wintering in Africa. It inhabits marshy areas, tundras and brackish coasts. The name derives from the long tail. Beautiful-looking, shy and suspicious duck, to be bred it needs large spaces (large ponds) and easily coexists with other species. It is silent and lives in groups.
Accentuated sexual dimorphism.
The male has the head and the part of the neck that goes down to the chocolate brown back. White throat, sides of the neck, chest and belly. Back and gray white variegated of fawn. Black tail. It has a band on the dark green wings with bronzed reflections. Gray-green beak and legs. In eclipse it resembles the female but with a darker head.
Size of about 60 cm.
The female has a black-brown coat tending to reddish. The wing band is brown-black-bluish not very evident.
The young specimens are similar to the females, but the males have the wing band tending to greenish.
Nutrition and behavior
It feeds mainly on cereals (aquatic plants and seeds), therefore, in captivity, the diet must be rich in grains and vegetables.
Couples are formed in winter but reproduction begins in spring. The females lay seven to ten eggs (duration of the hatching 23 days) in nests placed among the grasses or in the holes of the ground.
Pintail male Anas acuta (photo www.geometer.org)
Pintail female (Anas acuta) with ducklings (photo http://library.thinkquest.org)