RW's Daily Exposures

By rwsphotography

Northern Shovelers

Spatula clypeata

Two young males (note the black beak - females have lighter brown/orange beaks.

These ducks are in the family of "dabbling ducks."  Found in bay waters and marshes throughout North America and Europe. These males are young adolescents just getting their colors. By springtime they should have bright green heads and white breasts with brilliant black and orange sides. 

Any question why they are called shovelers?  Their beaks are the largest of the dabbling ducks.  The beak as over 100 filament type projections, (called lamellae) along the edges that act like a colander, filtering out tiny crustaceans, seeds, and aquatic invertebrates from the water.


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