Bahama Pintail


Bahama Pintail (Anas bahamensis)

The Bahama Pintail (Anas bahamensis) is a dabbling duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
English name:
Bahama Pintail
German name:
French name:
Cannard des Bahamas
Scientific name:
Anas bahamensis

Scientific classification




Common in collections, mainly Anas bahamensis bahamensis.

The male has brown upperparts with black feathers bordered with pale buff on back. Tail is pointed and yellowish. Wing coverts are brown. Great coverts have yellowish tips. Tertials are blackish with pale brown edges. Secondary bases show metallic green band and black sub terminal band with broad yellowish edge on the tip. Underparts are warm brown, spotted with black on breast and belly. Undertail coverts are yellowish. Underwing is dark, except paler central band, blackish flight feathers and pale trailing edge. Crown and nape are brown, slightly spotted with dark. Sides of the head, throat and upper neck are pure white. Bill is blue-grey with red sides at base of upper mandible, and black nail. Eyes are brown. Legs and webbed feet are dark grey

The female is white of face and bill coloration a little duller than the male, and is also a little smaller, with a shorter tail.

Juveniles resembles adults, but with slightly duller bill and plumage.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Bahama Pintail measures approximately 38-51 centimeters. The female measures approximately 38-51 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 480-520 gram. The female will weight about 480-520 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!

There are three subspecies:

  • A. b. bahamensis—lesser Bahama pintail - in the Caribbean, and a vagrant to southern Florida
  • A. b. rubirostris—greater Bahama pintail - in South America; it may be partly migratory, breeding in Argentina.
  • A. b. galapagensis—Galapagos pintail - lives at the Galapagos-eiland Fernandina (Narborough).

White-cheeked pintail (Bahama pintail) are winter-hardy, but shelter should be provided if the water is totally frozen. Non-aggressive, easy to keep and breed, these ducks may be kept in mixed collections. 

These ducks will use ground-level nest boxes or nest on the ground under vegetation, preferring secluded areas such as under thick bushes or in hollows at the base of trees. Laying usually from May, sometimes April. They are reliable for parent incubation and rearing, but will lay a second clutch if the first is removed. They may desert their eggs if frequently disturbed.

Hybridisation not common.

The female Bahama Pintail usually lays from 8-12 creamy white eggs and incubates them for 25-26 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 25-26 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.

Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Bahama Pintail is 11 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young dabbling duck at around 12-14 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
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Photos of the Bahama Pintail

Videos of the Bahama Pintail