Northern Pintail: Large, dabbling duck. Gray and black upperparts, white neck, underparts, gray sides. Head, throat, and nape are brown; a white stripe divides front and back of neck. Gray wings have green speculum bordered with brown above and white below. Tail is black, long, and pointed.
Range and Habitat
Northern Pintail: Breeds from Alaska and Labrador south to California, Nebraska, and Maine. Spends winters south to Central America and the West Indies; also in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include marshes, prairie ponds, tundra, and sometimes salt marshes.
The scientific name comes from two Latin words: anas, meaning "duck", and acuta, which comes from the verb acuere, which means "sharpen"; the species term, like the English name, refers to the pointed tail of the male.
This elegant duck with its trim form and swift flight, has been dubbed 'the greyhound of the air’. It has also been called pintail, sprig, sprigtail, spike, and spiketail.
Unusually for a bird with such a large range, the Northern Pintail has no geographical subspecies if the possibly conspecific Eaton's Pintail is considered to be a separate species.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.