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Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

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Hunters' Names for Ducks

Hunters have nicknames for waterfowl that capture the distinctive sound and sight of these birds, such as "Spoonbill" for this Northern Shoveler. And why is the Northern Pintail called a "Sprig"? WNPR listener David, in Belchertown, MA, tells us that the answer can be found in Gurdon Trumbull's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  language

Earth Day 2009

Northern Bobwhite ... Evening Grosbeaks ... Boreal Chickadees ... Common Terns ... and Northern Pintails, like this one ... the populations of all are in decline, mostly due to habitat loss. On Earth Day, join those who are finding ways to conserve the natural resources that sustain the full... read more »

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Tracking Pintail Migration

Thirty years ago, there were six million Northern Pintails in North America. Now? Just over three million. Duck numbers plummeted in the 1980s drought. When returning rains improved breeding habitat, duck abundance rebounded. Except for Northern Pintails. During migration, the birds fly first to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Northern Pintail - Elegance and Decline

In recent years, unlike many other North American ducks, Northern Pintails present a portrait of sharp decline. Pintails nest in grasslands near seasonal wetlands. Increasingly, these grasslands are being plowed up to grow crops such as corn. But people who love pintails are responding. Ducks... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Rainwater Basin

For 20,000 years, spring rains and melting snow have filled the playas of the Rainwater Basin of south-central Nebraska. As winter ends, ten million waterfowl rest and feed here before continuing north. The seasonal wetlands form a funnel for birds heading from the Gulf Coast and points south to... read more »

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Great Missoula Flood - Scablands and Plunge Pools

During the last ice age, a lobe of the ice sheet covering western Canada dammed the Clark Fork River, creating a vast lake in what is now northwestern Montana. Several times during the past 15,000 years, the ice dam broke, sending hundreds of cubic miles of water roaring across the inland... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history
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