To examine pathways, timing, and destinations during migration in spring, we attached satellite-monitored transmitters (platform transmitting terminals) to 10 northern pintails (Anas acuta) during February 2001, at Point Mugu, Ventura County, California. This is a wintering area on the southern coast of California. We obtained locations from five adult males and three adult females every 3rd day through August. Average date of departure from the wintering area was 15 March (SE = 3 days). We documented extended stopovers of ≥30 days for several northern pintails that could have accommodated nesting attempts (San Joaquin Valley, southwestern Montana, southern Alberta, north-central Nevada) or post-nesting molt (eastern Oregon, south-central Saskatchewan, northern Alaska, central Alberta). Wintering northern pintails from the southern coast of California used a wide range of routes, nesting areas, and schedules during migration in spring, which was consistent with the larger, wintering population in the Central Valley of California. Therefore, conservation of habitat that is targeted at stopover, nesting, and molting areas will benefit survival and management of both wintering populations.
Additional publication details
Spring migration and summer destinations of northern pintails from the coast of southern California