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Northern Shoveler

From Opus

Photo by Steve GThe Flood, Vane Farm, Loch Leven, Scotland
Photo by Steve G
The Flood, Vane Farm, Loch Leven, Scotland
Anas clypeata


[edit] Identification

Male - Eclipse PlumagePhoto by Alok TewariKeoladeo National Park, India, Dec-2015
Male - Eclipse Plumage
Photo by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, India, Dec-2015

43–56 cm (17-22 in)

  • Bottle green head
  • Chestnut flanks
  • White breast
  • Very large black spatula shaped bill

In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border.

Photo by targetmanLincolnshire March 2009
Photo by targetman
Lincolnshire March 2009


  • Light brown
  • Grey forewing
  • Very large grey and orange spatula shaped bill

[edit] Similar Species

The plumage of the female is similar to that of a female Mallard the bill being the major distinguishing feature.

[edit] Distribution

Northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America. It is a rare vagrant to Australia.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

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.

[edit] Habitat

Marshlands and overgrown ponds. Rarely on the sea. Breeds in shallow, lowland, freshwater wetlands.

[edit] Behaviour

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.

[edit] Diet

Dabbling duck, uses bill to filter food. Will eat tiny crustaceans, insects as well as seed and plant matter.

[edit] Breeding

The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down, usually close to water.

[edit] Vocalisation

Fairly quiet. Females a mallard-like quack. Males a deep "took, took."

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved February 2016)
  3. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

[edit] External Links


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