The White-cheeked Pintail is a medium-sized dabbling duck. Adults have brown upperparts with black feathers that are bordered with pale buff on the back. They have a pointed tail that has a yellowish color. Wing coverts are brown while great coverts have yellow tips. Tertiary feathers are blackish with pale brown edges while the Secondary bases show a metallic green band and black sub terminal band with broad yellow edges. Their underparts are brown, spotted with black on the breast and belly. The undertail coverts are yellow and the underwing is dark, except for a paler central band, blackish flight feathers and a pale trailing edge.
Its crown and nape are brown with faint dark spots. The sides of their head, throat and upper neck are pure white. Their bill is blue-grey with red sides at the base of the upper mandible, and their eyes are brown. They have dark grey webbed feet and legs. Males and females are similar, but females have a duller bill and face, and a shorter tail. The female is slightly smaller than the male. Juveniles resembles adults, but their bill and plumage is duller. Adults have an average body length ranging between 15-19.7in (38-50cm) and they weigh between 16.8-18.7in (475-530g).
White-cheeked Pintail lives in brackish and salt water, such as ponds, lagoons, lakes, mangroves, estuaries, but also shallow freshwater ponds, lakes, open wet areas and costal marshes and rocky or sandy seashores.
This species is native to South and Central America but is popular in captivity and escaped birds are frequently encountered in the wild. It is a rare to casual visitor in southern Florida.
The meat of the White-cheeked Pintail is rather fatty but of fair eating quality.
The White-cheeked Pintail feeds on aquatic plants and seeds, algae, invertebrates and small creatures obtained by dabbling.
White-cheeked Pintailsbreed from February to June, but this varies depending upon rainfall and availability of invertebrates. They construct their nests on the ground, hidden under vegetation and located near to the water or among the roots in mangroves. Pintails either nest solitary or in small groups. Hens lay between 5-12 creamy tan eggs, which they incubate for about 25 to 26 days before they hatch. The White-cheeked Pintail is a relatively silent duck. Male may produce a low whistle while females utter a weak quack that descends in pitch.
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