Saturday, February 12, 2011

Northern Pintail

I saw this pair of Northern Pintails feeding in the canal at RNWR not far from the Ring-necked Ducks I posted yesterday.
The male has a pinkish area in the brown foliage near the back of its head on both sides. I noticed that this is not uncommon as many pictures I found on the web had similar coloration. Cornell's Birds of North American states of the Northern Pintail's Definitive Alternate Plumage, "Most of head medium to chocolate brown with purplish sheen laterally,...". This doesn't necessarily look like sheen as it stays in the same place and didn't seem to change much with the sun's angle, but this may be the explanation.

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