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Common Shoveler


Alaska to northeast and eastern United States around Great Lakes area.


Freshwater marshes, prairie sloughs and muddy creeks.


Flat head with long spatulate bill, and large pale blue wing patch. Sometimes mistaken for a mallard duck. Black head glossed with green, white breast, reddish belly and sides. Orange colored legs. Bill is rimmed with fine, comb-like fibers, which the shoveler uses to sift its food from the water.


Rises quickly from water but is not shy and shows tendency to return to spot from which was flushed. An active flier that often flies in small flocks. During mating season, usually seen in pairs with a female leading 2 males. Generally silent most of the year with exception to mating season.


10 - 12 olive buff to green-grey eggs are laid. Female incubates the eggs for 22 - 24 days. Young first fly 39 - 49 days after hatching

Common Shoveler
Class: aves
Genus: Anas
Species: clypeata
Length: 17 - 20 inches; Wingspread: 27 - 33 inches
Weight: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds
Average Lifespan: 10
Wild Diet: 65 % of the diet is vegetable: Saw grass, pondweeds and other aquatic vegetation. Also eats mollusks, freshwater snails, aquatic insects and small crustaceans.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Discovery Land: Duck Pond

Learn more about aves or animals from North America!
Or, cross-reference the two!

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