A White-cheeked Pintail is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify White-cheeked Pintails. We have also put together a list of fun White-cheeked Pintail t-shirts, White-cheeked Pintail bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About White-cheeked Pintails
These attractive small birds are common in South America and the Caribbean. They are distinguished by their white cheeks, hence their name white-cheeked Pintail. They can be found in Florida during winter but are rare in areas outside the Caribbean and South America in other seasons. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
White-cheeked Pintails are named so because of the distinctive white spots on their cheeks. These
unique ducks have grayish-blue bills with a red spot at the bottom. White-cheeked Pintails possess
a predominantly brown plumage that is mottled with black spots on their breasts and sides. They
have red eyes, gray legs, and whitethroats. Female White-cheeked Pintails can be easily
differentiated from the males as their tails are shorter, their size is smaller, and they are not as
brightly colored. White-cheeked Pintails residing in the northern portion of their range are larger
than the other White-cheeked Pintails. Juvenile White-cheeked Pintails possess a brighter plumage
and distinct black lines that extend from their eyes to their napes. They also have a pink spot at the
bottom of their bill.
White-cheeked Pintail Color Pattern
Adult white-cheeked Pintails are entirely brown on their upperparts with a yellow pointed tail. Their wings have black feathers with brown coverts. Their underparts are primarily warm brown with black spots on the belly and breast. Their brown heads have white sides that extend to the upper neck and throat. The bill is blue-gray, eyes are brown and the feet and legs are dark gray.
White-cheeked Pintail Size
They are small dabbling ducks and males are larger than females.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 18-20 in (46-51 cm)
- Weight: 19.2 oz (544 g)
- Wingspan range: 26-31 in (66-79 cm)
White-cheeked Pintail Behavior
They forage by dabbling in shallow water or submerging their heads underwater to reach for food near or on the bottom. They are shy birds and often found in small groups or alone. However, during migration, they migrate in large flocks of 100 or more birds. They perform swift direct flights.
White-cheeked Pintail Food
Adult White-cheeked Pintails are primarily vegetarian ducks that mostly feed on submerged aquatic
vegetation. These dabbling ducks find suitable conditions for feeding in lagoons, ponds, salt lakes,
and salt ponds. White-cheeked Pintails skim the surface with their bills and then dip their heads
into the water to extract submerged plants. White-cheeked Pintails often eat together in flocks.
Fonicum grass, widgeon grass, algae, and foxtail grass are some of the vegetation consumed by
these ducks. Usually, ducklings incorporate a lot of insects and fish into their diet, primarily to gain
proteins that are necessary for their growth. These may include brine shrimp, shortly larvae, scuds,
water boatmen, and midge larvae.
White-cheeked Pintails feed on algae, small aquatic plants, and animals.
White-cheeked Pintail Habitat
White-cheeked Pintails are ducks that prefer saltwater habitats such as mangroves, tidal regions,
shores, and lagoons. These ducks can also sustain in still and shallow freshwater ponds. During
breeding season these birds generally choose sites that are not filled with dense vegetation. They
prefer undisturbed areas for raising their broods. When these ducks are not breeding they travel
away from the breeding sites.
They thrive in saltwater and brackish such as ponds, lagoons, estuaries, mangroves, and lakes. They are also common in shallow freshwater bodies such as ponds, reservoirs, lake shorelines, and other wetlands. The nest site is near water bodies with are made of leaves and concealed under thick vegetation.
Range and Migration
White-cheeked Pintails, also commonly known as Bahama pintails are ducks widespread in South
America, the Galápagos Islands, and the Caribbean. These ducks are migratory or partially
migratory in nature. White-cheeked Pintails are commonly vagrants to southern Florida. These
birds have three subspecies that are spread across their extensive range. The populations that
breed in Argentina winter northwards from their breeding habitat.
White-cheeked Pintail Lifecycle
The females lay 6-10 eggs and incubate them for 25-26 days. The hatchlings leave the nest shortly after hatching and are led to water by the female. They can live for more than 6 years in the wild.
White-cheeked Pintail Nesting
White-cheeked Pintails are seasonally monogamous birds that also have a tendency to form
polygynous relationships. If females are left alone for long intervals of time, they might change
mates. Females initiate courtship by performing a stiff-necked motion, and males reciprocate by
displays their napes. Following copulation, both sexes have observed making ahead pumping
motion. Both sexes also vocalize during this mating ritual. Female White-cheeked Pintails lay their
eggs out of the territory of males in undisturbed and still waters. These ducks lay about 5-12 eggs
annually which may need to be incubated for about 24 days. Male white-cheeked Pintails are not
bothered about their nestlings, but the females are heavily involved in their care and protection.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying White-cheeked Pintails
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing White-cheeked Pintails are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
White-cheeked Pintail T-shirts
If you love the White-cheeked Pintail you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
White-cheeked Pintail Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The White-cheeked Pintail is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
White-cheeked Pintail Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the White-cheeked Pintail. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for White-cheeked Pintails
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for White-cheeked Pintails
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.