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14 March 2015

Eaton's Pintail

Eaton's Pintail (凱島針尾鴨)
French Australia and Antarctica Territories (2013)

9th September, 2014. Alfred-Faure, Crozet

Eaton's Pintail is 40-45 cm. Small, short-necked pintail. Resembles female Northern Pintail A. acuta, but darker overall tone, more reddish-brown, and scalloping on flanks smaller and less obvious. Male has elongated central tail feathers and green speculum bordered with white. Minority of males (1%) assume brighter breeding plumage with trace of chocolate-brown on head and whitish stripe up side of neck. Female has brown speculum bordered with white. Subspecies similar but drygalskii slightly paler, more buff on breast, and some birds show fine vermiculations on lower hindneck and flanks.

It is projected that this species could undergo a rapid decline in the near future owing to predation by feral cats, and it therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

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