Pintail Pair Head Study
This print is from the original oil by Daniel F. Heuer. It is available in a limited edition and open edition.
The pintail is one of the sleekest, neatest-looking ducks gracing our continent. Its two long central tail feathers earn it its common name of “pintail” and the name “sprig” that you hear applied to it in the southern swamps. Although the pintail has a greater total length than the mallard, in actual body length, discounting its tail, it is slightly smaller. The male has a blue grey bill and feet, and its head and throat are a rich, dark brown. I especially enjoy it every time I observe one of these ducks in the wild, as they always seemed too formally dressed to me, as if they were of royalty. The pintail is a widespread duck in North America, but seems to be most prevalent in the West. One of the fastest of all ducks, pintails migrate in large flocks which travel in irregular formations at high altitude. The pintail can take off from the water with ease by beating against the surface with its wings and so catapulting straight up into the air. These agile flyers migrate in large numbers, traveling with mallards, black ducks and most puddle ducks. Each spring upon their return from the wintering grounds I try to find and admire them as often as I can, as they are a pleasure to find and observe.