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 comparision 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, however I find that most of my birds do not breed until their second year. 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.