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North Carolina Wildlife Species Information

Northern Shoveler - Anas clypeata

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 14 inches Wingspan: 31 inches
  • Large dabbling duck
  • Large spatulate bill
  • Juvenile similar to adult female

Adult male alternate:

  • Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer
  • Black bill
  • Eyes yellow
  • Green head
  • White lower neck, breast, and tail
  • Rusty underbody with white band on hind flanks
  • Dark back, with elongated white scapulars
  • Pale blue upper secondary coverts
  • Green speculum with white leading and trailing edges

Adult male basic:

  • Similar to adult female

Adult female:

  • Eyes brown
  • Orange bill with dusky patches
  • Mottled brown and buff head, neck and back
  • Dusky blue upper secondary coverts
  • Dull green speculum with white fore border

Similar species:

Large, spatulate bill makes the Northern Shoveler immediately recognizable in all plumages.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.

Above information used courtesy of United States Geological Survey.

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