White-cheeked Pintail - Anas bahamensis

Length 1.2-1.7 ft (38.0-51.0 cm)
Wingspan 1.8-2.2 ft (53.3-68.6 cm)
Clutch Size 5-12
Chicks at birth Precocial
IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

The White-cheeked Pintail or Bahama Pintail is a dabbling duck. There are three subspecies of this duck found in the Caribbean, South America, and the Galapagos Islands.

The most noticeable physical feature of the White-cheeked Pintail is the pure white cheeks that extend down the throat. Their body is brown with black spots and a white pointed tail. The wings are a darker brown, edged with reddish brown and there is a bright green, iridescent patch on the wing. The bill is black with a bright red patches at the base. The eyes are dark brown and the legs and feet are grey.

The sexes are similar but the female is slightly smaller and duller.

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Diet: The White-cheeked Pintail feeds on aquatic plants and invertebrates by dabbling (upending themselves in shallow water).

Courtship: White-cheeked Pintails are usually monogamous but the male will sometimes mate with multiple females. Some breeding partners will stay together form more than a year. During the breeding season the males are very aggressive in establishing and maintaining their territories. Courtships are usually during the winter and early spring. The male will perform various displays and both sexes will do 'Head Pumping' and various preening displays.

Nesting: Nests are built on the ground under thick vegetation and near water. A nest bowl is scraped out and lined with leaves and down. The female lays 5-12 eggs and she provides all the care.

Habitat and Range: The White-cheeked Pintail is found throughout South America and the Caribbean. It has also been found in Florida. One subspecies is endemic to the Galapagos Islands.

They mainly inhabit mangrove swamps, estuaries, saline pools and coastal lagoons.

Vocalization: Males have a low whistling call while females weakly quack.

Plumage/Molt White-cheeked Pintails molt annually from May-August and do not have an alternate (breeding) plumage.

Migration: Some are year-round residents.

Tongue/feet: The eyes are dark brown and the legs and feet are grey.


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