Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata) photos by Larry Jordan
The Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata),unlike most dabbling ducks, has a bill ideally suited for straining small swimming crustaceans from the water (click on photos for full sized images).
This is the drake in breeding plumage photographed at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge last week.
Note the spatulate bill…
perfectly shaped for straining the water surface while swimming.
This is a closer shot of the female Northern Shoveler.
Here you can see the series of comblike lamellae (described as fine, almost hairlike, parallel ridges lining the bills of some waterbirds, including some geese and flamingos) along the lateral edge of the drake’s beak.
To see more great bird photos, check out Wild Bird Wednesday and The Bird D’pot!