Yellow-Billed Pintail – Profile | Traits | Facts | Diet | Habitat

Yellow-billed pintail

The yellow-billed pintail, scientific name Anas georgica is a South American dabbling duck of the genus Anas with three described subspecies.

Yellow-billed pintail Overview

With the standard form of a dabbling duck, the Yellow-billed Pintail is usually pale heat brown with a vivid yellow bill. It is comparatively slim with a long elegant neck.

Native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay, they’re additionally discovered on a few of the sub-Antarctic islands, together with the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

The South Georgian subspecies are sedentary — it doesn’t migrate. This, the nominated race, is barely darker, smaller, and more compact than the Chilean one.

yellow-billed pintail, scientific name Anas georgica

Yellow-billed pintail Description

The yellow-billed pintail has a brown head and neck. The bill is yellow with a black tip and a black stripe down the center. The tail is brownish and pointed.

The higher wing is grayish-brown, and the secondaries are blackish-green. The remainder of the body is buffish brown with various size black spots.

The species is typically confused with yellow-billed teal however could be differentiated by the yellow stripes on its bill, its bigger size, and its tendency to not type giant teams.

The Yellow-billed Pintail has a darkish, velvet-black speculum, in contrast to the similar-looking however smaller Yellow-billed Teal Anas flavirostris, whose speculum is sensible green and is overall a barely greyer bird.

yellow-billed pintail, scientific name Anas georgica

Yellow-billed pintail Distribution and habitat

The range consists of a lot of South America, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia. The nominate and smallest subspecies, the South Georgia pintail A. g. georgica, is assumed to quantity between 1000 and 1500 pairs and is discovered solely in South Georgia.

The Chilean or brown, pintail A. g. spinicauda is widespread on the South American mainland from excessive southern Colombia southwards, in addition to within the Falkland Islands, and numbers effectively over 110,000.

Niceforo’s pintail A. g. niceforoi, previously present in central Colombia, is believed to be extinct, having been last recorded in 1952 (and described solely in 1946).

Their habitat ranges from high elevation lakes and marshes to low elevation lakes and rivers and coasts in open country.

yellow-billed pintail, scientific name Anas georgica


Like many geese, Yellow-billed Pintail is omnivorous, consistently foraging for the nutritious fare. Those on South Georgia are often seen feeding on Antarctic fur seal carcasses, as soon as these are opened by bigger scavengers.

Yellow-billed pintail Physiology

In high altitude populations of yellow-billed pintail, hemoglobin has a higher affinity for oxygen than in lower altitude populations, which could be attributable to substitutions of their beta-globin gene.

These substitutions are shared by speckled teal due to introgressive hybridization between the 2 species. Gene circulation between populations additionally means that yellow-billed pintails which are heterozygous for the βA hemoglobin subunit could possibly acclimate to high altitudes more effectively than those which are homozygous for the βA hemoglobin subunit.

yellow-billed pintail, scientific name Anas georgica


Usually nesting near the water in a shallow platform of stems and grass, the Yellow-billed Pintail can lay as much as a dozen eggs.

Nests are fashioned on the ground and lined with grass and down. They disguise their nests in vegetation near water. They lay 4 to 10 eggs in a clutch.

The feminine incubates for twenty-four to twenty-eight days herself, but the male stands guard close by. If a clutch fails, they may lay once more. In the wild, Yellow-billed Pintail could have 2 or 3 clutches.



The South Georgia Pintail’s survival was threatened by invasive rats, unwittingly dropped at the island by sailors and whalers over time since Cook’s 1775 expedition.

By 2018, the South Georgia Heritage Trust accomplished an ambitious project to rid the island of rats.

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