Northern Shovelers


North American Shoveler, Common Shoveler

Anas clypeata

A Northern Shoveler drake

This is the only Shoveler that inhabits the Northern Hemisphere. It is found across North America, Europe, and Asia, with wintering populations also in Africa.

These ducks prefer quiet shallow fresh waters. They feed mainly by dabbling. They have two feeding styles. In one the bird swims along with it's bill open at the water's surface, filtering tiny plants and animals with the comblike "teeth" lining its bill. If there is no floating food available, a small group of Shovelers will swim in a tight circle and create a small whirlpool which brings food to the surface.

Good fliers and bouyant swimmers, they are awkward on land.

In captivity, you must be prepared to supply a great deal of animal food in their diet. The 8-14 pale greenish-buff eggs hatch in 23-25 days.

Northern Shovelers in fllight
Photo courtesy of Romain Kang

The "shovel" of a Shoveler

A pair of Northern Shovelers, the male in eclipse plumage

A Northern Shoveler pair

More Northern Shovelers, 2 drakes and a duck; again, the drakes are in eclipse plumage

A drake showing off
Photo courtesy of Taryn Koerker



back to Poultry Page

All text ©2004 FeatherSite unless otherwise credited; for graphics see note.

Direct questions and comments to Barry at FeatherSite -- questions and comments