Thursday, March 15, 2012

Northern Shoveler

I usually think of Northern Shovelers as being relatively late spring migrants.  They were, however, among the first ducks to appear at Wells Lake this spring. The males are relatively easy to identify.  The females appear similar to hen mallards, but with out-sized bills. While swimming, the ducks feed by dabbling their big bills, straining small crustacans from the water. This photo of a shoveler pair was taken several years ago in South Dakota.

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