Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
Males in breeding plumage. The long pointed central tail feathers or "pintails" are the last feathers to mature; see them at full length, above, and just beginning to grow out, below.
A female, above, and an immature male, below; note the shiny two-tone black and light gray bill of the male vs. the female's dark gray,
and compare the scapulars, plain or lightly barred on the young male, mottled on the adult female.
Standing, female above, male below.
A female and two males, flying.
Male rearing up, above, and landing, below.
Fighting, between males above, females below.
During the pair formation season in the fall, a female will swim about, gathering male suitors who form a flotilla around her, as above.
Individual males may rush at the female during the courtship, as above.
Courtship is over; these two have formed a pair. After forming in fall, pairs don't mate and nest until spring.