Posts Tagged ‘shovelers’

Every time that I see the outlandishly long bill and bright colors of a male Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), I can’t help but think that this is a cartoon duck, created by Walt Disney for a Technicolor movie. Of course, these ducks are real and the bills serve a useful function in helping them to strain the water for food.

The male shoveler is easier to spot, because of its more distinctive coloration, but I was happy to be able to get some shots of a female too as this couple moved in and out of the reeds in one of the ponds at my local marsh. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Northern Shoveler pairs are monogamous and remain together longer than pairs of other dabbling duck species.

One of the interesting things that I noted is that the feathers on the male’s head are not the solid green that I am used to seeing. They seem mottled and I wonder if this is some kind of transitional plumage as breeding season approaches.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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