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Northern Shoveler in moulting plumage

Northern Shoveler in moulting plumage
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2014-10-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-08-13 7:59
Viewed: 1731
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The moulting plumage of a male Northern Shoveler, photographed in October last year.

The Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), sometimes known simply as the Shoveler, is a common and widespread duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, and is a rare vagrant to Australia. In North America, it breeds along the southern edge of Hudson Bay and west of this body of water, and as far south as the Great Lakes west to Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.

The Northern Shoveler is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. The conservation status of this bird is Least Concern.

This species was described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 under its current scientific name. Usually placed in Anas like most dabbling ducks, it stands well apart from such species as the Mallard and together with the other shovelers and their relatives forms a "blue-winged" group that may warrant separation as genus Spatula.

This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding male has a green head, white breast and chestnut belly and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female.
The female is light brown, with plumage much like a female Mallard, but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible. The female's forewing is grey.

They are 19 inches long (48 cm) and have a wingspan of 30 inches (76 cm) with a weight of 1.3 pounds (600 g).

Northern Shovelers feed by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water. It also eats mollusks and insects in the nesting season.
The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down, usually close to water.
This is a fairly quiet species. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a Mallard-like quack.

Habitat and range
This is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some emergent vegetation.
This bird winters in southern Europe, Africa, northern South America, and the Malay Archipelago. In North America it winters south of a line from Washington to Idaho and from New Mexico east to Kentucky, also along the Eastern Seaboard as far north as Massachusetts. In the British Isles, home to more than 20% of the North Western European population, it is best known as a winter visitor, although it is more frequently seen in southern and eastern England, especially around the Ouse Washes, the Humber and the North Kent Marshes, and in much smaller numbers in Scotland and western parts of England. In winter, breeding birds move south, and are replaced by an influx of continental birds from further north.

This dabbling duck is strongly migratory and winters further south than its breeding range (so far so that there have been four reports in Australia). It is not as gregarious as some dabbling ducks outside the breeding season and tends to form only small flocks.

Source: Wikipedia

CeltickRanger, Hotelcalifornia, kuzeycem, Noisette has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter

There is a wonderful warm light coming in to this beautiful duck,
fine POV, DOF, excellent focus, sharpness, details, contrast, TFS


Hello Peter,
Don't know why (smile), but I like its bill! Well captured this colorful 'Northern Shoveler'. Nice motion with natural ripples on water. Good sharp Photograph.
Thanks for showing us this beautiful species,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2015-08-13 10:08]

Hello Peter,
Lovely well-timed capture of the Shoveller with its open beak ! Excellent sharpness and fine colours.Regards Sigi

The light really made the details prominent on this moulting bird, and the beak movement adds an action to this spectacular view. Thanks for sharing!

Ciao Perer, great capture of beautiful Anas clypeata, fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,
a somewhat frightening pose of this shoveler. But great portrait. have a nice day

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2015-08-14 10:36]

Hallo Peter,
Great timing..
Beautiful natural colours and a nice pose with eye contact.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2015-08-16 1:11]

Hi Peter,
Pretty duck with large beak. Nice colours and sharpness details.
Very good work.
Regards Jiri.

hello Peter
this bird is captured with great details, good light on the colorful plumage,
the blue water makes a superb BG
Have a good night

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-08-20 15:39]

Hi Peter,interesting capture of this moment of season when this specie is changing the colors of plumage,a bit funny the open beack and impressive the quality of sharpness,i like it! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

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