Northern Shoveler Ducks
Northern Shoveler ducks are unmistakable in the northern hemisphere visually due to its large spatulate bill.
For some odd reason, I find this duck interesting to watch. More so than most.
Although, I need to take my eyes off them for short breaks when they are in groups feeding. Believe it or not, if I watch through my lens while they are in their feeding “circles” I tend to get a little green. AND, being green leads to very embarrassing actions on my part.
(All Photography displayed on this page is web quality. To see print quality, click on any photo.)
When you see a group of ducks they are often referred to as a brace, team, paddling, raft, and flush of ducks.
The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.
The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge. The female’s forewing is gray.
I don’t get to see this particular duck as often as I would like. It is all in the timing.