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Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler
Photo Information
Copyright: Mircea Radu Achim (achimmircea) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 562 W: 0 N: 1603] (6246)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 50D, Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, HOYA 77.0 mm UV
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-10-23 6:42
Viewed: 2664
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), Northern Shoveller in British English, 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 sometimes referred to by hunters as the "spoony". Other disparaging names, as compared to the mallard, are the "smiling mallard" and the "Poor Man's Mallard".
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 is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark 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 a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, 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. They use their highly specialized bill (from which their name is derived) to forage for aquatic invertebrates - a carnivorous diet. Their wide-flat bill is equipped with well-developed lamellae - small, comb-like structures on the edge of the bill that act like sieves, allowing the birds to skim crustaceans and plankton from the water's surface. This adaptation, more specialized in shovelers, gives them an advantage over other puddle ducks, with which they do not have to compete for food resources during most of the year. Thus, mud-bottomed marshes rich in invertebrate life are their habitat of choices.
The shoveler prefers to nest in grassy areas away from open water. Their nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down. Hens typically lay about nine eggs. The drakes are very territorial during breeding season and will defend their territory and partners from competing males. Drakes also engage in elaborate courtship behaviors, both on the water and in the air; it is not uncommon for a dozen or more males to pursue a single hen. Despite their stout appearance, shovelers are nimble fliers.
This is a fairly quiet species. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a Mallard-like quack.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marco2010, Alex99, vanda, marius-secan, buscape, BREARD, kapildk, anel, pegos, uleko, maaciejka, maurydv, Dis. Ac., cobra112, ramthakur, bungbing has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-10-23 6:52]

Hello Mircea,
Excellent photo of this Northern Shoveler. Taken from a very nice low POV. Beautiful colours, great sharpness and a pleasing reflection on the water.

hello Mircea
super good sharpness pose of this beauty duck
great details and beautiful colours '
thanks greeting lou

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-10-23 7:21]

Very beautiful species and fine image, good viewpoint to get the mirror image and the colors are superb. tfs.

Ciao Mircea.
Ottina cattura di questo mestolone,con colori stupendi e una grande nitidezza.bello il riflesso sull'acqua.Complimenti
Ciao Marco.

Hello Mircea!

I saw this specie in nature fe times,but I don't have such good shot in my collection. Great capture!


  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2011-10-23 8:24]

Hi Mircea!
Excellent capture and great details...the yellow eye is fantastic! Also great the POV : were you below the water ? :)) Beautiful blurred BG and wonderful reflections.
ciao! Vanda

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-10-23 8:25]

H Mircea.
I have never seen this cute species. Its beak is simply amazing as well as all other features, including colouration, shapes and golden eyes. I welcome narrow and precise DOF, great details of the duck and very pleasant smooth surroundings. My kin d regards and TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-10-23 8:49]

Hello Mircea.
this is a wonderful coloured duck. Exellent shot, I like the reflection in the water. You did it well. Superb job.Best regards Siggi

Hello Mircea!
Another super shot with great qualities as usually!I liked the reflections, almost a mirror of water...Wonderful! Well done! TFS
Nice week!

Impressive photo Mircea! Very good low POV, excellent composition, wonderful colours and very good sharpness!

Ciao Mircea, great catuyre of lovely duck, fantastic reflections, splendid light, wonderful colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Mircea
Excellent photo,excellent exposure and depth of colours,splendid details.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-10-23 11:09]

Hi Mircea,what a magic choice of point of view to take so well these beautiful reflections,a very nice composition and a usual impressive sharpness and colors,perfect light balance too for this beautiful black head.Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano.

Salut Mircea,
O imagine excelenta cu detalii si culori splendide. Nu stiu unde gasesti asa exeplare superbe......In zona de vest nu am intalnit inca aceste specii.

Hello Mircea,
wonderful capture of this beautiful duck with good sharpness and fine reflections on the water. I also like the nice eye contact and the natural colours.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-10-23 22:24]

Bonjour Mircea,
Une belle composition de ce canard aux très jolies couleurs.
La netteté est excellente et le reflet du plus bel effet.

Hi Mircea,

Excellent mirror image of this beautiful duck with good details & sharpness.
The beak is different i'd never seen before. Well done & TFS.

Nicely focused on the main subject from a good point of view. Excellent detail and composition. A lovely bird!
regards yiannis

an incredible professionally executed shot Mircea Radu Achim. Fantastic point of view, depth of field and clarity!
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-10-24 4:38]

Hello Mircea,
Most subte golden and brown tints and beautiful reflections on the watersurface! Anas clipeata has an amazing long bill and a striking golden eye. A special bird indeed! Well chosen horizontal composition and fine sharpness too.
Well seen!
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-10-24 7:07]

Hello Mircea,
fantastic capture of this beautiful A. clypeata with great sharpness, fine detail and wonderful shades of color; wonderful eye and splendid light.Great quality!
Thanks for sharing

great sharp portrait, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-10-24 8:06]

Hello Mircea,
A very fine close-up of this Shoveler showing excellent sharpness and natural colours. I like the light and the reflection in the water too!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-10-24 8:11]

Hi Mircea,
Another nice duck.Nice colours and sharpness details.
Again xcellent focus on the eye.Very nice reflection the duck
in the water.
Regards Jiri.

Hi Mircea,
really nice and interesting photo of this duck. Amazing colours. Nice reflections in water. Great composition.
Thanks for sharing,

Hallo Mircea,
a fantastic capture of the Northern Shoveler taken from an excellent low point of view, impressive details and marvellous warm colours, very well composed
Best regards

Hello Mircea,
Exellent image with razor sharpness from this Duck.
Good low pov.
Fine colors.


Ciao Mircea. Just like a paint. Exciting colours and playing of light. Amazing reflections. Very well done!


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-10-25 18:51]

Hello Mircea,
I am jealouse of this shot. I had a chance to get a close-up photo of three of these beautiful ducks last year, but didn't have my camera with me. Ther are a rare sight im my area of Ohio.
The Northern Shoveler is one beautiful bird, as evident by your image.
I really like the low POV and exceptional detail. Colors are true and natural and you managed to capture great eye contact. Well done!!

A perfect picture of this water bird, Mircea.
I love the colour tones in this beautiful image.

Hello Mircea,
A beautiful picture of The Northern Shoveler, lovely point of view, excellent details sharpness, beautiful colours and wonderful reflection on the water, very well captured,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice evening,
Best Regards,

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