Lee Richardson Zoo

White-cheeked Pintail Duck

Order: Anseriformes - Ducks, geese and swans, and screamers
Family:Anatidae - Ducks, geese, swans.

Scientific Name:  Anas bahamensis

 

Description:Length can range from 14- 20 inches and wingspan between 21- 27 inches. Weight can range between 1- 1.2 pounds. Males produce a low whistle call and females produce a weak quack. Male Plumage: This bird has pure white feathers on its cheek that extend on to the throat and upper part of the neck. The bright white coloration contrasts with the black flecked feathers on the head and the bright orange at the base of their beak. The body of this bird is covered in reddish-brown feathers which are spotted with black. The back feathers are darker in color with reddish-buff edges. The wing feathers have an iridescent patch which is bordered in cinnamon-buff feathers. The tail can be white or buff in coloration. The eyes are dark brown and the feet and legs are grey. Female Plumage: Differences between adult females and males are few. Females tend to be slightly smaller, duller coloration and a shorter tail. Juvenile Plumage: Juveniles look very similar to adult females with one potential identifier being a less iridescent patch on the wing.

 

Home Range:  Extending through the Caribbean and West Indies in to South America. There are records of spottings in Florida as well.
 
Habitat Type:  This species can be found commonly along coastal habitats: mangrove swamps, estuaries, small saline or brackish pools and coastal lagoons. They have also been spotted at elevations of 2,500 meters or more, in the Andes where they could potentially be utilizing freshwater lakes and ponds.

 

Reproductive Habits: White-cheeked pintails are mostly monogamous but there has been documentation of males mating with more than one female. The breeding season can be quite variable and is dependent on water levels and the breeding location. Nests are constructed on the ground close to the waterline. Typically, the nests are sheltered amongst thick vegetation or resting on mangrove roots. Nests can be established individually or in small groups. The female will lay anywhere between 5- 12 creamy-white or buff colored eggs that will take around 25 days to incubate under the care of the mother duck. Males have not been observed participating in the rearing process. Once hatched, it will take around 45- 60 days to fledge.

 

Diet in Wild: There is limited information on diet in the wild but based on habitat type their diet includes a variety of aquatic plants and grasses. It is possible that they also consume aquatic invertebrates.

 

Diet in Zoo:  Cracked corn, layer ration, and naturally growing plants in Marie Osterbuhr Aviary.

 

General Info:  There are three subspecies of the white-cheeked pintail. A. b. bahamensis (lesser white-cheeked pintail)- West Indies, N South America to N. Brazil A. b. rubrirostris (greater white-cheeked pintail)- E Bolivia and S Brazil to N Argentina and Uruguay A. b. galapagensis (Galapagos white-cheeked pintail)- Galapagos Islands

 

Bibliography

P.A. Johnsgard. Ducks, Geese and Swans of the World. 1978. University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln and London. pp.238- 241. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 1. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. 1992. pp. 611. Wildscreen Arkive. 4 Aug. 2016. Web. http://www.arkive.org/white-cheeked-pintail/anas-bahamensis/ IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 4 Aug. 2016. Web. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22680287/0