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Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler
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: 2015-12-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Anatidae photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2016-01-07 0:43
Viewed: 1578
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Last month I was lucky to photograph this duck so close.

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.
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 48 cm long and have a wingspan of 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.
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

marius-secan, Hotelcalifornia, CeltickRanger, lovenature, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
Indeed it was a great luck to approach so close to this lovely and colorful specie which I meet several times in my region but without luck to take such a perfect image. The ducks in my region are very shy because they are hunted....Excellent focus and razor sharp details.

Hello Peter,

Beautiful photo of this Duck. Excellent color with splendid details. Well BG too. Well captured....
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-01-07 11:27]

Hi Peter,now is OK...hehhe...absolutely perfect this close up,i like a lot the details on plumage and drops,ane the colors too are very bright,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter

Great portrait shot of the Northern Shoveler that I have never seen in real,
fine POV obtaining its expressive eye-contact, excellent light and contrast,
great focus, sharpness, and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-01-07 17:37]

Hello Peter,
A beautiful close-up of this gorgeous drake Northern Shoveler. Very good detail with rich natural colors and great eye contact. Exposure is just right with no blown out areas.
These unique looking ducks can be found here in Ohio during the early spring migration as they head north into Canada. I would be thrilled to capture such a fine looking image. Well done!!

Hello Peter
What a great close up of this Northern Shoveler with the sun showing off his colourful plumage. Your fine detail shows off the water droplets on his feathers. Great notes!
TFS Janice

Hallo Peter
Mooie eend blijft deze toch ,prachtige kleuren
ik vindt de snavel altijd bijzonder
kom ze soms tegen als koppel in kleine slootje hier in de polder
gr lou

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2016-01-08 9:56]

Hi, Peter.
What a cute face to face picture. I am impressed with POV and composition of the image a lot. Coloration of the bird as well as colours of the picture and datiles are superb. Thanks a lot and warm wishes.

interesting closeup of the bird. good work.

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