Australasian Shoveler

Images ©:
©Bob Winters

Anas rhynchotis


Small duck, up to 53 cm. Average weight 650 g. Dark headed duck, with a square-cut, shovel-tipped bill. The male in breeding plumage has a deep grey-blue head with a vertical white cresent between the bright yellow and the bill. The back and rump are black, and the shoulder, wing and tail feathers are blue-grey with several white bars. Underparts are chestnut, with white patches at the rear of the flanks. Males are much duller, outside breeding season. Females have mottled brown upperparts, chestnut underparts and dark brown eyes.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Animals
Duck
Other Common Names
Spoonbill Duck, Shoveler, Blue-winged Shoveler
Biology

Breeding season: August to December on the coast, year round in arid zones, with rainfall. Clutch size is 9-11. It breeds at any time throughout the year in arid areas, synchronised with flood waters. Nests are built on the groud in dense vegetation. Females incubate the eggs and brood the young.

Distinctive Markings

Breeding plumage is similar to the Chestnut Teal, though this is a small bird with a green head, not blue. When feeding with their head under the water, their orange legs are distinctive.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus
Anas

Changes to the natural flow and floods of rivers may interrupt breeding of the Australasian Shoveler.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Carnivore. Feeds on insects and crustaceans. It is a filter-feeder using special lamellae (grooves) along the edges of the bill to filter food.

Habitat

Found in all kinds of wetlands, preferring large undisturbed heavily vegetated freshwater swamps.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Audio
Sounds
Usually silent but occasionally from male a soft "toot toot" and low grunting. Female has a soft, husky "quack" and chattering in flight.