Pintail - Anas acuta

Alternative names
Northern Pintail

Slightly bigger than a Mallard, these long-necked and small-headed ducks fly with a curved back pointed wings and a tapering tail, making this the best way to distinguish them from other ducks in the UK.

Identification difficulty

A localised species, Pintails occur sheltered coasts and estuaries. Particularly large concentrations are found on sites such as the Dee Estuary, Solway Estuary and Ouse Washes, but sometimes seen on water bodies inland during the winter months.

When to see it

All year. Wintering birds arrive from September with numbers peaking in December. The return migration takes place from late February into March.

Life History

They eat a variety of plants and invertebrates.

UK Status

The small breeding population and significant winter population make them an Amber List species.

VC55 Status

Usually a winter bird in Leicestershire & Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Northern Pintail, Pintail
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
18/11/2010 (Steve Lister)
Last record:
07/02/2024 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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