Northern Shoveler: Medium dabbling duck. White breast, white-bordered black back, rufous-brown underparts and sides. Head and neck are iridescent green, large bill is black and eyes are yellow. Wings have large, pale blue shoulder patches, white bars, green speculum. Legs and feet are orange.
Range and Habitat
Northern Shoveler: Breeds from Alaska and northern Manitoba south to California, Nebraska, and Wisconsin; local and uncommon in the Great Lakes area and the northeast. Winters from Oregon across the southern half of the U.S. to the Gulf Coast, north to New Jersey, and south to Central America. Prefers marshes and prairie potholes; sometimes found on salt or brackish marshes.
The Northern Shoveler was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist.
Socially, they occasionally work together in groups while feeding, rotating like a pin-wheel, stirring up the surface water and skimming it for food particles.
They are often referred to as the "Spoonbill" or "Spoony" because of their unique spatulate shaped bill, which has about 110 fine projections (called lamellae) along the edges, for straining food from water.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.