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Waterfowl Identification in the Central Flyway

Shoveler (Spoonbill)


Male - Winter

GIF -- Picture of Male Shoveler-Winter

Body: Medium-sized duck, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds, 18-20 inches long. Rich cinnamon belly. White chest and tail. Head iridescent green. Bill black, long, broad and spoon-shaped. Eyes yellow. Feet orange. Wings: Lesser and middle coverts sky blue; greater coverts form distinct white bar. Speculum iridescent green. Central shaft of primaries distinctively white. Voice: Silent or weak took-took In Flight: Spoon-shaped bill and head appear large and carried low. White chest contrasts with cinnamon belly.

Male - Fall

GIF -- Picture of Male Shoveler-Fall

Ranging from mottled dull gray-brown to near-winter coloration. Belly and sides usually retain some cinnamon. Tail dusky white. Bill remains dark with tinge of orange. Eyes, feet and wings same as in winter.

Female - All Seasons

GIF -- Picture of Female Shoveler

Body: Mottled drab brown. Bill large, spoon-shaped and orangish green, usually with black spots. Tail dusky white. Feet bright orange. Wings: Lesser and middle coverts brownish, tinged with sky blue; greater coverts form distinct white bar. Speculum subdued green. Central shaft of primaries distinctively white. Voice: Feeble quack.

GIF -- Picture of Shovelers in Flight


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