Friday, November 25, 2011

Northern Pintail, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

While searching for the female Long-tailed Duck that was reported seen at the South Pond in Chicago's Lincoln Park, I spotted a pair of Northern Pintails Below), snoozing in the thicket off the shore of North Pond.

A male Northern Pintail trying to take a nap, North Pond, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL; 11/5/2011.
Initially, although I suspected they were N. Pintails, I couldn't quite make a positive identification on these two because both were napping hidden in the brush, with their heads tucked into their wings and their necks were obscured. After a time, with the movement of other ducks surrounding them, both awoke, and the male (Above), lifted its head so I could see the tell-tale white racing stripe along the back of its neck. And the female opened its eyes (Below) to see what all the commotion was about. With this ID, I could list Northern Pintails as #334 on my Life List.
Peek-a-boo. The female Northern Pintail checking out its surroundings after waking up from her nap, North Pond, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL; 11/5/2011.
There were actually two pairs of Northern Pintails hidden in the brush, but the two above, were the most visible for a picture.  I was hoping they would eventually arise and move about so I could get more of a full-body photo, but they stayed put - must have been plenty tired. These guys must have been in the midst of their southern  migration, as they come from their summer homes in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan, as well the North Central States of Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming and the entire country of Canada and as far Northwest as Alaska. Year round they can be found in the Central & Western states of Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and California.  They will spend their winters in the southern half of the U.S. from coast to coast as well as all of Mexico.

No comments: