White-Cheeked Pintail – Profile | Traits | Facts | Diet | Breeding

White-cheeked pintail

The white-cheeked pintail, scientific name Anas bahamensis, also called the Bahama pintail or summer duck is a species of dabbling duck. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 tenth version of Systema Naturae under its present scientific name.

White-cheeked pintail Geographic Range

White-cheeked pintails, Anas bahamensis, have a range that features Central and South America. Their northern range contains the southern coast of Florida, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Cuba. The range is sporadical alongside the coast of South America together with the western coasts of Peru, Chile, and Ecuador (together with the Galapagos Islands).

The northern coast of South America contains populations in Guyana, Venezuela, and Colombia. There are two disjunct populations alongside the eastern coast of Brazil. White-cheeked pintails even have an inland range that’s as far north as Bolivia and as far south as Argentina. One individual was present in 1929 on a Wisconsin lake.

White-cheeked pintails have three subspecies which are separated geographically, Anas bahamensis bahamensis, Anas bahamensis rubrirostris, and Anas bahamensis galapagensis.

Lesser white-cheeked pintails, Anas bahamensis bahamensis, are situated primarily in northern South America and the southern coast of Florida.

Located within the southern range of South America are the better white-cheeked pintails, Anas bahamensis rubrirostris. Lastly, the Galapagos pintails, Anas bahamensis galapagensis, are restricted in distribution to the Galapagos Islands.

White-cheeked pintail Habitat

White-cheeked pintails are mostly present in saltwater habitats, corresponding to lagoons, bay shores, tidal areas, and mangroves. Although it isn’t as frequent, they will live in inland freshwater ponds and marshes which are shallow and calm.

Brackish water can be an alternative choice when discovering their acquired environment. While nesting, they are often present in areas that aren’t extremely disturbed with dense grass, forbs, and sedges.

White-cheeked pintail can be common for them to have their nest and lift younger in an area the place disturbance is minimized. When better white-cheeked pintails are usually not having younger they usually move away from the breeding site. The elevation is just not reported for this species.

white-cheeked pintail, scientific name Anas bahamensis, Bahama pintail, summer duck


The most lifespan recorded within the wild for white-cheeked pintails was 6 years, 3 months. This record was for a duck that was shot, and subsequently, its natural longevity remains to be unknown. There isn’t any information on lifespan in captivity as a result of pintails are usually not usually stored in captivity.

White-cheeked pintail Description

Like many southern geese, the sexes are related. It is especially brown with white cheeks and a red-based gray bill (younger birds lack the pink). It can’t be confused with some other duck in its range.

White-cheeked pintails are recognized by the white spot situated on their cheeks. These dabbling geese have a grey-blue bill, with a red spot on the base. These dabbling geese have brown feathers, and black spots on their chest, breast, and sides.

The side of their head and throat are white. They present a line of demarcation between their brown crown and white area. They have gray legs and red to red-brown eyes. Compared to males, females are smaller, have a shorter tail size, and are usually not as brightly colored.

In evaluating subspecies, better white-cheeked pintails (total size 44 to 51cm) are brighter and bigger than lesser white-cheeked pintails (total size 41 to 48 cm).

Galapagos pintails (total size 38 to 45 cm) are typically the smallest and lack the most important line of demarcation between their brown crown and white area.

Galapagos pintails have a wingspan of 55 to 62 cm, whereas lesser white-cheeked pintails’ wingspan is 58-65 cm, and better white-cheeked pintails’ wingspan is 60 to 68 cm. For all subspecies, females are bigger, weighing an average of 569 grams, whereas males average 503 grams.

Ducklings are brighter in color, have a distinguishing black line from their eye to the back of their neck, and have a pink spot on the base of their bill. At birth, ducklings weigh around 34g.

Food Habits

White-cheeked pintails primarily feed on submerged crops and are effectively often known as dabblers. Their correct meal supply is discovered inside salt lakes, ponds, lagoons, and salt ponds.

White-cheeked pintails generally skim throughout the floor, then stick their heads underwater to achieve crops that are submerged. Alongside the crops situated within the sediment, algae and widgeon grass Ruppia are a part of their diet.

Many of those geese will group collectively to eat the nutritious widgeon grass. Ducklings feed on grass seeds and aquatic invertebrates. The daytime is normally the time for feeding.

white-cheeked pintail, scientific name Anas bahamensis, Bahama pintail, summer duck

White-cheeked pintail Behavior

The white-cheeked pintail feeds on aquatic crops and small creatures obtained by dabbling. The nest is on the ground under vegetation and close to water.

White-cheeked pintail diurnal behaviors embrace foraging, avoiding predation, and searching for mates. These geese are additionally one of many few within the Anas genus which are sedentary (non-migratory).

It is common for white-cheeked pintails to show swimming and sticking their heads underwater (dabbling) to forage. Communication is one other instance of behavior, corresponding to quacking, visible shows, and many others.

Pintails travel in pairs or small flocks. They change into very tame, and the free-living geese have tailored to residing on the shoreline begging on the eating places situated on the border.

Female pintails differ from males by a choose few behavior patterns. They each behave in a protecting approach, however, females present protectiveness over younger while males are protecting over their habitat all through the breeding season.

White-cheeked pintail Communication

White-cheeked pintails make use of their vision when discovering the appropriate source of meals. As dabblers, they discover their meals, submerged crops, by sticking their heads underwater.

When speaking with others they use vocalization. Males’ calls include whistles, whereas females produce a low quack sound of 4 to eight syllables.

High-low quack sounds are articulated when females are separated from their mates. These geese vocalize when performing mating rituals. Ducklings make peeping sounds.


White-cheeked pintails primarily are confronted with predation by people, Homo sapiens, who illegally hunt them. There are many potential nest predators.

They embrace mammals corresponding to rats Rattus and home dogs Canis lupus familiaris. Bird nest predators embrace laughing gulls Larus atricilla, yellow-crowned night-herons Nyctanassa violacea, and Smooth-billed anis Crotophaga ani. Another recognized predator is a white land crab, American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus consuming a duckling. Because they lack anti-predator actions, their eggs and younger are sometimes consumed.

white-cheeked pintail, scientific name Anas bahamensis, Bahama pintail, summer duck

White-cheeked pintail Reproduction

White-cheeked pintails usually type a monogamous mating pair and keep collectively in the course of the season. Forced extra-pair copulations have been demonstrated and polygynous relationships have been famous.

Sorensen (1992) reviews instances of polygynandry the place females will swap males as a consequence of being left alone for some intervals of time. She reviews mate-switching as much as 27% of the pairs she studied.

The quantity of spring and winter rainfall can have an effect on mating intervals. If there’s irregular rainfall, then the feminine breeding season is affected, and that provides males the chance to mate with one other feminine.

Females present curiosity in males by a stiff-necked movement, and males will present the back of their necks in return. Copulation is then proceeded by head pumping from each male and female. Vocalization can be a part of the mating ritual.

White-cheeked pintail females will lay eggs outside of the males’ territory. These geese have 5 to 12 eggs per season/per year because the breeding season is year-round.

Females will incubate for 21 to 22 hours a day, then spend the opposite 2 to three hours visiting the males. Although incubation intervals haven’t been revealed for the white-cheeked pintails, the duration for the associated northern pintail Anas acuta is listed as 22 to 24 days. It is suspected that white-cheeked pintails have related incubation occasions.

When hatched, females lead their younger to a protecting water environment (e.g., restricted variety of predators), the place they won’t be disturbed. White-cheeked pintails’ fledge in 45 to 60 days.

White-cheeked pintail males present no involvement in offering to take care of the ducklings. Females, however, defend their younger.

They guard the younger, attend to their helpless calls, and attempt to defend the pond from any potential predators. Males spend much less time within the alert place than females and spend much less time defending the younger.

white-cheeked pintail, scientific name Anas bahamensis, Bahama pintail, summer duck


Muniz-Pereira and Amato (1993) examined 18 white-cheeked pintails in Brazil, and 22.2% have been contaminated by the eyefluke, Philophthalmus gralli. Also in Brazil, white-cheeked pintails carrying one other parasite, a digenean trematoda Notocotylus breviserialis. The prevalence of this parasite in these geese was 5.56%.

White-cheeked pintail Conservation

The IUCN Red List web page white-cheeked pintails as a species of “Least Concern,” though their population is declining. In Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, white-cheeked pintails are listed as a species on conservation concern.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act lists them as protected, and states that it’s unlawful to promote these birds without a allow.

The State of Michigan listing, CITES, and the US Federal listing white-cheeked pintails as “no special status.” Illegal looking by people is a significant risk, and that is being restricted except one has a allow.

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