Northern Shoveler

The Northern Shoveler, also known as the spoonbill due to its distinctive beak, is a species of duck that belongs to the family Anatidae. This bird is one of the most recognizable waterfowl in North America and can be found throughout much of the world.

Basic Description:

The Northern Shoveler has a unique appearance with its large spoon-shaped bill, which helps it sift through mud and sediment for food. The male’s head has a green iridescent color with a white breast and chestnut sides while females have mottled brown plumage. Both sexes have blue-gray wings and elongated bills.

Where To Find This Bird:

The Northern Shoveler can be found in freshwater wetlands across much of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa during breeding season. During migration and winter months they may travel further south into Central or South America or closer to coastal regions.


Northern shovelers typically breed in shallow marshes or ponds where aquatic vegetation provides nesting material and cover for their offspring. Outside of breeding season these birds will use any suitable habitat such as lakes, rivers or even flooded agricultural fields so long as there are ample supplies of food available.


Northern shovelers are omnivores who feed on small insects like snails and crustaceans as well as seeds from various plants growing near bodies of water where they reside during breeding season. They’re equipped with filtering systems within their bills that help them extract nutrients from muddy waters without ingesting too much grit or debris along with it.

Cool Facts:

– These ducks spend approximately 60% more time feeding than other dabbling ducks.
– Their nests may contain up to 14 eggs at a time which hatch after an incubation period lasting about four weeks.
– Unlike many other migratory birds this species often remains year-round residents within parts of their native range
– The first mention off the Northern Shoveler in North America dates back to the late 1700s where it was originally called the “Broad-bill” due to its head’s unique shape.

In conclusion, The Northern shoveler is a fascinating bird that has adapted some incredible features like the spoon-shaped beak which helps them thrive within their natural habitat. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or just appreciate nature in all forms; spotting one of these ducks during migration or breeding season will undoubtedly make for an unforgettable experience.