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Yesterday I noticed a small flock of about fifteen Northern Shoveler Ducks here on the lake.  This is the first time I have ever seen these fascinating dabbler Ducks.  The Northern Shoveler Duck has a very large slightly spoon-shaped bill.  The drake is beautifully colored with a white chest , cinnamon rust brown sides and dark brown, nearly black wings with slightly white edges.  The bill is dark brownish-blue, in color.  The head of the male or drake is dark with an almost purple sheen to it.  The diet of the Northern Shoveler Duck is largely made up of plant seeds and small aquatic invertebrates.

I was surprised to see a group of several Blue-winged Teal Ducks paddling along with the Northern Shovelers.  The diet of both kinds of ducks are very similar.  The Blue-winged Teal is the smaller duck with the white crescent on its head and throat.  Both the female or hen Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal Ducks look very similar but the Teals are smaller.  The females both look very much like Mallard hens and also like Black Duck hens.  There were a few American Coots (black in color) mixed in with the ducks.  I was very happy to have seen these gorgeous migratory visitors.  They will be on their way North soon.  By the way,  I will be posting some pictures of the Blue-winged Teal Ducks here soon.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Comments on: "Migratory Northern Shoveler Ducks Arrive" (8)

  1. I love the shovelers! We had a mixed flock of shovelers, widgeons, ring-neck ducks, and green-wing teals stop over 2 winters ago for a few days at our pond. It was awesome to see those great dabblers. This winter we only had a few shovelers stop in for a day on their travels north. 🙂

    • Hi Texwisgirl, I just learned that we are on the Mississippi Flyway here in almost Eastern TN. I am so glad you also have been able to host the Shovelers and the other dabbling ducks. Have a fabulous Sunday!

  2. Wow–you struck gold, Linda… Bet you were excited… The Northern Shovelers are so pretty….

    Enjoy this weather.. Feels like summer instead of Spring… ha

    Glad we missed all of that bad weather in East TENN.

    • Hi Betsy, Happily enjoying the wonderful warm weather. We got some gardening done which has been needed. Watching the wildlife, too. Have not seen the Shovelers today but did see the Great Blue Heron fly around the other side of the lake. Have a super Sunday today!

  3. I have never heard of the teal ducks ir the shoveler ducks! That bill is very cool!!!

  4. Hi Ginny, I think the jumbo-sized bill helps strain the little lake and water critters that these ducks eat. These are amazingly beautiful ducks! Have a great rest of the day and evening and a super coming week.

  5. It’s easy to see where they got their name! Very interesting ducks!

    • Hi Montucky, They are very unusual looking and I was so pleased to get to see them. If I am not mistaken, I have now seen some thirteen different kinds of ducks here on the lake in the fifteen months I have been writing this blog. Have a fantastic Monday tomorrow!

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