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Australasian Shoveler - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Australian Shoveler)
Photo © by Tony Brown
Lake Monger, Perth, Australia

Alternative name: Australian Shoveler

Spatula rhynchotis



  • Long, spatulate bill


Photo © by Neil
Sydney,Australia, February 2004
  • Blue-grey head, with a vertical white crescent
  • Chestnut sides
  • Blue forewing
  • White underwing shows in flight


  • Overall rufous-brown plumage, with darker streaks on upperparts
  • Buffish feather edges


Australasia: found in south-western and south-eastern Australia including Tasmania, and New Zealand.

Eclipse of subspecies variegata
Photo © by the late Rookery
Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand, November 2008


Formerly placed in the genus Anas.


Two subspecies are recognized[1].

  • S. r. rhynchotis
  • S. r. variegata

Some authorities treat this as a monotypic species[2].


A wide variety of wetlands; prefers large permanent lakes or swamp that have abundant shrubbery cover of melaleuca and cumbungi.
Only an infrequent user of mangrove swamps, floodwaters, sewage farms.



The diet includes a wide variety of vegetable matter: herbs, grasses, pondweeds, wigeon grass, eelgrass, and algae.


Seven or eight eggs are laid and incubated for 25-26 days; the young fledge after 40-45 days.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Avibase
  4. Animal Bytes
  5. Birdforum Member observations

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