Star Journal Report
A Rhinelander couple spotted an unusual bird at the Norway Street Wisconsin River boat landing Jan. 9. Mark Lehman and Vanessa Haese-Lehman photographed the rare sighting of a male Northern pintail. Vanessa said the bird was hanging out in the river with a large flock of mallards.
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website, the Northern pintail has a distinctive silhouette, with a long thin neck and long, pointed tail. The male has easy to identify markings, with a white chest, white stripe up its neck and a dark reddish-brown head. The bill is black with bluish-gray stripes.
These birds typically winter in much warmer climates, south of Illinois into Mexico, Vanessa added. Looking at a map on the Cornell site, the Northern pintail spends summers in the Dakotas and much of Canada and perhaps a Northeastern part of Wisconsin.