Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica)


French: Canard à queue pointue German: Spitzschwanzente Spanish: Ánade maicero

Anas georgica

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

South Georgia


Thought to be close to A. acuta, with which (and A. eatoni) is sometimes partitioned off in genus Dafila. One genetic study suggested that present species forms a monophyletic group with A. acuta and A. bahamensis#R. Subspecies niceforoi, described in 1946, had been considered to be extinct by 1956, but was reportedly rediscovered in Jan 2003#R; however, claim is not convincingly documented, has been questioned#R and comes from a region (Cauca) over which disagreement apparently exists as to the subspecies that occurs there. Race spinicauda sometimes considered a full species, but apart from being significantly larger is not particularly distinctive. Two extant subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. g. niceforoi Wetmore & Borrero, 1946 – Andes of EC Colombia (Boyacá and Cundinamarca).
  • A. g. spinicauda Vieillot, 1816 – Yellow-billed Pintail – extreme S Colombia S to Tierra del Fuego, and E to E Argentina, Uruguay and SE Brazil; Falkland Is.
  • A. g. georgica J. F. Gmelin, 1789 – South Georgian Teal – South Georgia.
  • Descriptive notes

    41·5–55 cm, male 540–655 g, female 460–495 g (georgica); 50–65 cm, 663–827 g (spinicauda). Both sexes reminiscent of... read more


    Generally rather silent. Differences, if any, between nominate georgica and South American... read more


    Found in a variety of habitats throughout range, such as freshwater lakes with abundant fringe... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds, roots and vegetative parts of grasses, sedges, algae and other aquatic plants (e.g. Myriophyllum), stubble, grain, aquatic... read more


    Season variable with locality; laying Sept–Dec in S of range (spinicauda on Faklands) or (nominate) Dec–Mar on South... read more


    Partially migratory; southernmost breeders of continental race move N to winter as far as SE Brazil... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widely distributed and locally abundant. Race spinicauda is one of most abundant ducks in South America, with total... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica). 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 21 February 2020).