Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
White-cheeked Pintail - Anas bahamensis
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General Comments The White-cheeked Pintail is a species native to the West Indies and southward far into South America, favoring coastal freshwater habitats (ponds, lagoons, etc.). Not surprisingly, there are a number of records for FL. However, as the species is sometimes kept in captivity at zoos and in waterfowl collections, records out of the normal range are typically open to provenance questions, especially far from FL. There are now (2017) three well-documented records for NC, all with photographs, from coastal areas (Pea Island NWR and the lower Cape Fear River). Perhaps to be conservative, the first two records -- on the Cape Fear River off Fort Fisher on 9 Jul 2008, and at New Field in Pea Island NWR from 4-18 Oct 2010 -- were accepted at the species level by the NC BRC but only to Unaccepted Origin and thus not afforded a place on the NC Accepted List. However, another pintail, photographed at North Pond on this refuge, on 30 Sep 2015 was accepted by the NC BRC as a wild and valid record, based heavily on comments from several FL birders on the provenance of the species in that state. Thus, the photos of the 2015 bird place the species on the Definitive List. It seems prudent for the NC BRC to re-review the previous two records in light of the FL situation and the acceptance of the last record.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Three records (see above), though only one accepted as wild (and thus valid).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips The species is likely to appear again in the state in the near future, as wild or escaped, and thus should be looked for on coastal ponds, impoundments, etc., primarily in late summer or fall. Records away from coastal regions of the state would certainly be suspected of being escaped birds.
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2017-04-25], Howard[2017-04-24]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.