Its unusually loud name this ducky got because of the fact that the tail has several long feathers that resemble an awl. In size, this bird is slightly smaller than mallard, very elegant and dexterous.
Pindulum rises from the water without the usual take-off for birds, quickly gaining speed and very quickly flies. That’s why hunting for this duck is considered one of the most difficult.
As many ornithologists and inveterate hunters say, the pintail is truly one of the most attractive ducks. She has a neat physique and a beautiful color. In the spring and summer the male is distinguished by a very contrasting plumage. The feathers are dominated by chestnut and gray tones, but mixing with white and black impregnations, create a very beautiful appearance. Female females of the color of feathers resemble most other wild ducks, as seen in the photo.
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 locality and season), females reach 400-1000 grams. On the wings the mirror of the pintail has a violet color with an unusual bronze outflow. It is this feature that attracts many connoisseurs of “duck” beauty.
Sexual maturity and females, and males of these ducks reach at the age of one year, therefore, as a rule, mate already by the end of the first year. First, on the wintering grounds, in about December, the flocks mix and the males begin mating. In various poses, the drake tries to attract the attention of the liked female. It can produce a characteristic whistle or a rattling sound of wings.
As a rule, the pairs are formed even during the wintering period, so the birds come to the nesting places with partners. Lonely males fly themselves and continue to search for the female already at home. Pintail is one of the very first ducks that returns after wintering. They can be seen on the banks of rivers and lakes, when the surface of the water is still completely covered with ice.
Unlike the other species of ducks, the female Pintail prefers to build a nest away from the place where her childhood passed. They often move away and explore new territories. The nest is built by birds on the ground, sometimes up to 1.5 kilometers from the pond. Prefer a thicket of reeds or grass. The litter is very scarce, the duck collects only a little grass and puts down down the perimeter of the nest.
One masonry consists of 7-10 eggs. If something happens to the eggs, for example, they are eaten by a predator, then the female lays it again. The egg ducks for about 25 days, the male at this time leaves it. Hatching chicks quickly ripen and after a couple of hours they go after the mother to the pond. In 40 days they already know how to fly.
Distribution and way of life
Duck pintail very well flies and swims, but she does not like to dive, so she prefers to spend most of the time over water. The bird spreads over very large territories, reaching even the coasts of the Arctic continents. It settles in Europe, Asia, America, but is most numerous in the western part of Eurasia. On the territory of our country pindle can be seen almost everywhere.
With regard to wintering, the sedentary mode of life is conducted only by the populations of birds in the UK, and also in the west of the United States. In other areas the duck is a migrant. In Eurasia, there are three zones of wintering and migration of pintail. 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, a duck winters in Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, north-west France and the UK. As for other countries in the world, for example, in India during wintering the population of pintail is the most numerous.
Migration and molting
Males of pintail, like many other ducks, also make small migrations during moult. In the beginning of June, as a rule, before the moulting period, ducks leave the nesting sites and fly away to more protected areas. For example, they choose large reed lakes, deltas of large rivers or lower reaches. On these territories, single women can sometimes arrive, as well as those who have lost the clutch. In our country pintail during moulting gathers in the deltas of the Volga, Ob and Ural rivers.
Due to its long, delicate neck, duck-tailed ducklings can produce food from a sufficient depth, but they rarely dive and only dip their heads slightly into the water.
In general, food is mixed and depends more on the habitat of birds. So, for example, in the northern zones of the duck animal feed is eaten more, and in the southern – vegetable. The bird prefers grain from vegetative forages, as well as parts of various water plants, including duckweed, sedge and lake reeds.
In spring and summer in the diet there are various mollusks, small crustaceans, insect larvae, mosquitoes, beetles. In small numbers and mainly in the northern latitudes the duck eats small fish, tadpoles, shrimp and leeches.
Sometimes hunters call pintail in the shape of a tail vstrohvostkoy. This is one of the most common real ducks. The nesting mass is found in the northern and eastern regions, it is common in the central and rarer nests in the southern regions. It hibernates mainly outside the CIS, but it also occurs in some southern regions, in particular, off the coast of the Caspian Sea, on the Black Sea and in Central Asia.