The North American Pintail is a common aviary bird. As with many waterfowl species the male is more boldly marked than the female, his colors are tastefullly muted shades of brown and gray, and black and white, to this add a slim elegance and one has a truely beautiful bird. The female in comparison is more drab and over all gray. In eclipse plumage the male closely resembles the female.
The Northern Pintail is easily kept in captivity, they are hardy, and have no special requiremnts, they also get along well in a mixed collection.
They are capable of breeding their first year, and are often sucessfully bred in trios (1 male 2 females).
They readily accept nest boxes, but also like natural cover if available.
Their breeding season is in Spring and usually begins in early May in my regoin.
Clutches consit of 6-10 oval shaped, blueish gray eggs. If eggs are removed early in incubation a second clutch is often laid. They are incubated for about 24 days. The ducklings of this species are easy to raise, and present no special challenges.
The Blue Northern Pintail is a relatively new color mutation.
We have been working with this color since 2013. Blues are basically a lighter version of the normal color, and the drakes appear to be more "blue" than gray.
At the time of this writing this is a rare color and we are only producing a handful of them each year. In 2014 we produced a single female that was a neither the normal color or silver, this bird has more of a pastel or buff color. She also has no penciling on her feathers. This hen is pictured below.
Blue Northern Pintail pair pictured above.
The first Blue Pintails we acquired were badly inbred. Most of the lighter colored blue birds we raised were weak and did not survive to adulthood. We spent several years trying to produce stronger better birds, breeding back in the normal color (creating split to blue birds)so we could produce stronger offspring. Eventually we started raising and selling a small amount of blues every year. In 2021 we acquired some additional blue pintails from a different source. By mixing this bloodline with ours we were now able to breed blue to blue with good results and which allowed us to start producing more of the lighter blue mutation. We eventually named this new lighter blue color mutation silver. And began selling this color in 2023.
Pictured above Silver Northern Pintail male
Pictured above male Northern Pintails in 3 different colors
front center- normal, back left- blue, back right-silver