Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck…

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Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.

A Chinese proverb

Northern Shoveler (Anas_clypeata): Have you seen this bird?

Northern Shoveler (Anas_clypeata): Have you seen this bird?

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Northern Shoveler

The Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), sometimes known simply as the Shoveler, is a common and widespread duck.

Like most dabbling ducks, it stands well apart from such species as the Mallard and together with the other shovelers and their relatives forms a “blue-winged” group.

 

Identification Tips:
• Length: 14 inches Wingspan: 31 inches
• Large dabbling duck
• Large spatulate bill
• Juvenile similar to adult female

Adult male alternate:
• Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer
• Black bill
• Eyes yellow
• Green head
• White lower neck, breast, and tail
• Rusty underbody with white band on hind flanks
• Dark back, with elongated white scapulars
• Pale blue upper secondary coverts
• Green speculum with white leading and trailing edges

Adult male basic
• Similar to adult female

Adult female:
• Eyes brown
• Orange bill with dusky patches
• Mottled brown and buff head, neck and back
• Dusky blue upper secondary coverts
• Dull green speculum with white fore border

Similar species:
Large, spatulate bill makes the Northern Shoveler immediately recognizable in all plumages.

This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill.

It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America and is a rare vagrant to Australia.

This is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some emergent vegetation.

This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range. There have been reports of them as far as Australia. The Northern Shoveler is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks.

 

 

Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.

A Chinese proverb

 

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Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.

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