Sunday, March 8, 2020

Northern Shoveler

Erika and I have often seen this curious behavior by Northern Shovelers. I have always known that they use their large bills to strain tiny crustaceans out of the water. Often you find shovelers swimming in a tight circles, apparently using their bills as stirring spoons, driving their prey off the bottom of the lake and up to the surface. Almost always we find pairs acting like this, which suggests this behavior is both cooperative feeding and a pair bonding activity. Solitary birds of both sexes, however, are known to twirl for their food.

This video is my first bird movie. If it does not appear in this post, the clip can be accessed through my eBird checklist of the day:

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