Northern Shoveler

Scientific Name: Anus Clypeata

Habitat: The Northern Shoveler can be found in saltwater and freshwater wetlands including marshes, ponds, lakes, and swamps. They like shallow water and places where there are muddy banks and plenty of vegetation.

Behavior/diet: Northern Shovelers often swim with their bills in the water to strain out small bits of food like plankton and other swimming invertebrates. They eat water plants, small crustaceans, insects, mollusks, algae, snails, and some seeds.

Nesting: Northern Shoveler nests are shallow depressions in the ground usually placed in short grass or vegetation, and the female chooses the nest site.  They are made of grass and weeds, and lined with down. Northern Shovelers lay 9 to12 eggs, and incubate them for 23 to28 days.

Sound: The Northern Shoveler’s call is a nasal chuk! chuk! chuk! repeated several times or quacking.

Description/field marks: Male Northern Shovelers have brown undersides and flanks, and white breasts. They have green heads, and their backs and wings are greenish gray. Northern Shoveler females look a lot like female Mallards, but Northern Shovelers’ bills are bigger and more spoon shaped than Mallards. Female Northern Shovelers are brown all over. Both the male and the female have large spoon shaped bills, but females have pinkish bills, and males have black bills. Males and females have orange feet.

Northern Shoveler

Female Northern Shoveler

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