Northern Shovelers on the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin. Other species present were Common Goldeneye Ducks (m-f), Redhead Ducks (m-f), Red-breasted and Common Mergansers (m-f), American Coots, first of the year for me and many Mallards. Surprisingly, I did not see any female American Shovelers, just males. Two Mute Swans present took the show to all the people walking and bikers out today along the river walk. There is little ice left on the river with temps in the low 50′s today. The ducks look gorgeous this time of year! Images were taken on Friday March 14, 2014.
Binomial name: Anas clypeata
Category: Duck, Geese, and Swans
Size: 19” long, 30” wing span
Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Habitat: Breeding habitat for this species is open shallow wetlands, marshes, prairie potholes or wet grasslands.
Diet: Swimming invertebrates, also seeds from sedges, bulrushes, grasses and other plants. that are sifted through a filtering system made of projections that line their mouth edges.
Nesting: Nest is cup size, lined with down, on the ground and usually concealed in short grass near water. The nest usually has of 8-12 eggs pale-greenish gray or pale buff.
Cool facts: The Northern Shovelers large bill sifts food through a filtering system made of projections that line their mouth edges.