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In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border.
 Similar Species
The plumage of the female is similar to that of a female Mallard the bill being the major distinguishing feature.
The Northern Shoveler is usually placed in the genus Anas, but can be placed in the separate genus Spatula, along with the other species of shoveler and related species Cinnamon Teal and Blue-winged Teal.
There are no recognised subspecies of Northern Shoveler.
Marshlands and overgrown ponds. Rarely on the sea. Breeds in shallow, lowland, freshwater wetlands.
It is a migratory species, wintering further south than its breeding range. It is not as gregarious as most other dabbling ducks, and only forms small parties.
Dabbling duck, uses bill to filter food. Will eat tiny crustaceans, insects as well as seed and plant matter.
The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down, usually close to water.
Fairly quiet. Females a mallard-like quack. Males a deep "took, took."
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