Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)


Southern Pintail (Anas eatoni)


French: Canard d’Eaton German: Kerguelenspießente Spanish: Ánade rabudo meridional
Other common names: Eaton's Pintail, Kerguelen Pintail, Crozet Pintail (drygalskii)

Querquedula eatoni


, 1875,

Kerguelen Island


With A. acuta and A. georgica sometimes placed in genus Dafila. Frequent but not universally accepted separation as full species#R is supported by morphological evidence: differs from “parental” A. acuta in its much smaller size (weight of one drygalskii female 450 g vs mean female weight in North America 871 g) (3); male like female in coloration (4); male richer brown on head and breast, and somewhat more so on lower underparts, than female acuta (2); male underparts rather more mottled and, lower down, more barred, less organized and uniform than the streaking of female acuta (1); tail plain with no white fringes (ns[1]). Some consider drygalskii not separable from eatoni. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. e. eatoni (Sharpe, 1875) – Kerguelen I; introduced to St Paul I and Amsterdam I, but probably now extirpated.
  • A. e. drygalskii Reichenow, 1904 – Crozet Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    35–45 cm, male 430–502 g, female 400–500 g, wingspan 65–70 cm. Compared to A. acuta (with which previously considered to be conspecific, see... read more


    Vocalizations of both sexes are said to resemble those of A. acuta, but are slightly... read more


    Inhabits small freshwater lakes, as well as pools, marshes, peatbogs and streams. Both nominate and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily feeds diurnally, in small groups (occasionally up to 200), taking animal matter (crustaceans and moist-soil invertbrates) as well... read more


    Laying season Nov–Mar, with young mainly hatching in Feb. Mating system unknown, but usually observed in pairs in austral spring. Usually... read more


    Mainly sedentary, though most of population move to coastal areas in winter, only small numbers... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Currently estimated joint population of 31,200–41,400 mature individuals that is thought to be in decline. In Crozet Is, subspecies drygalskii estimated... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Southern Pintail (Anas eatoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 30 March 2020).