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Any of four species (genus Anas, family Anatidae) of sleek, long-tailed, long-necked dabbling ducks that are swift fliers and popular game birds. The common, or northern, pintail (A. acuta), widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, is a long-distance flier; some Alaskan birds winter in Hawaii. It is 26–30 in. (66–75 cm) long. The male has a white breast, gray back, and black tail; the female is mottled brown. The preferred diet is seeds. The brown, or yellow-billed, and the Bahama, or white-cheeked, pintails are primarily found in South America. The red-billed pintail is a grayish African species.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pintail, visit Britannica.com.