With its graceful long neck and pointed tail feathers, the fast-flying northern pintail duck is nicknamed “greyhound of the air.” because of its impressive speed. Because it has a longer neck than most ducks, the pintail is able to reach and feed on plant matter at the bottom of shallow waters. Nearly all of North America’s pintail ducks breed in the prairie pothole region of the Upper Midwest and Canada. Dotted with many seasonal wetlands, this region is one of the most important waterfowl production areas in the world.
Climate Change Impacts
Scientists predict the pintail duck’s prairie pothole habitat will face increased drought due to global warming, which would dry up soil and water and alter hydrological processes. Drier conditions would also impact other waterfowl species that call the prairie pothole region home, including mallards, canvasback ducks, redheads, common goldeneyes, ruddy ducks, and buffleheads.