Custom Search

Norhern Shovelers

Identify It >   Birds Section >   Wildfowl Section >   Northern Shovelers >

Quick Facts

Scientific name:  Anas clypeata

Size:  Grow to 52cm in length

Distribution:  Can be found throughout the UK, but mostly seen around the west coast

Months seen:  All year round

Habitat:  Ponds, lakes, rivers, reservoirs and freshwater marshes.

Food:  Aquatic plants, crustaceans, snails, aquatic insects, insect larvae and seeds.  The unique bill, which is broadened at the tip, is used for sieving and filtering food from the water

Special features:  Male Northern Shovelers have an iridescent green head, white chest and breast and a chestnut belly and flanks.  In flight you may see the patches of blue, white and irridescent green at the shoulders.  The wing tips are grey-brown.  The legs and feet are orange.

Female Northern Shovelers have a pale brown head and a speckled brown body.

Both the males and females have a large spade-shaped bill, which widens towards the tip, and creates a shape unique among waterfowl in the UK.  The bill of the male is black and the bill of the female is a greenish-orange.

Related Pages