Northern Pintail




As part of being classified under the order Anseriformes, Pintails and all the birds of this order are generally considered herbivores. The pintail however is well known as an omnivore, meaning it feeds on both animals and plants. In image found at the Pintail consumes many different types of water plants and the seeds these plants produce. Like some other ducks, it dips its head below the surface with its tail in the air to feed (dabbling), maintaining balance by paddling its feet. However because of the Pintail's exceptionally long neck it can feed on the bottom of ponds and marshes, even lower than other duck species. Variations in diet do occur due to several things. The females especially go through different diets based on where they are in the reproduction cycle. The consumption of invertebrates is greatest when the female is in the process of laying her eggs. This could be due to the fact that while laying she does not want to travel to the water for food. This increase in invertebrate consumption drops just as quickly as it starts once the laying period is over. The intake of animals also drops when the ducks are molting. All in all, Pintails are very good at taking advantage of what is most available to them. If there is a lack of vegetation,image found at their diet will consist almost entirely of animals. During the spring, when midge pupae come to the surface of ponds, they do a lot of surface feeding. It all depends on what is around them given their diverse habitats.

Pintails have an incredibly diverse diet but to get a glimpse of some of the organisms they eat, check out these websites:

Faucet Snail