A Closer Look at the Northern Shoveler



Northern Shovelers () photos by

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).

Northern Shovelers

This is the drake in breeding plumage photographed at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge last week.

Northern Shoveler

Note the spatulate bill…

Northern Shoveler

perfectly shaped for straining the water surface while swimming.

This is a closer shot of the female Northern Shoveler.

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.

Northern Shoveler

To see more great bird photos, check out Wild Bird Wednesday and The Bird D’pot!

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

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