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Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata


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Northern Shoveler, male
credit:  Andreas Trepte/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Anatidae, Ducks and Geese view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has shiny green head (looks dark in poor light), white breast, and chestnut on flanks and belly. Vent is black and white and back is mainly dark. Note bright yellow eye. Eclipse male resembles adult female although body is more rufous and head is grayer. ADULT FEMALE Has mottled buffy brown plumage and yellowish bill. JUVENILE Similar to adult female.

Dimensions Length: 17-20" (43-51 cm)

Habitat Common and widespread. Nests beside shallow pools. Favors estuaries, freshwater marshes and lakes in winter.

Observation Tips Easiest to find in winter.

Range Alaska, Western Canada, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Southeast, Eastern Canada, New England, California, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Northwest, Plains, Great Lakes

Voice Male utters a sharp tuk-tuk; female utters a soft quack.

Discussion Unmistakable, even in silhouette, due to long, flattened bill. Unobtrusive, favoring water margins with dense vegetation and moving quietly through open shallows, filtering food with bill. In flight, male shows blue forewing panel and white-bordered green speculum; female's wing pattern is similar, but blue is replaced by gray. Sexes are dissimilar in other respects.