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< >  Anas platalea - Red shoveler (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

South American shoveler
Argentine shoveler
Argentine red shoveler
Fuchsloffelente (German)
Südamerikanische Löffelente (German)
Canard spatule (French)
Souchet roux (French)
Cuchara Argentino (Spanish)
Pato cuchara sud americano (Spanish)
Spatula platalea

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1
D1, D8

Other References

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Red shovelers are winter-hardy and peaceable. They prefer fairly shallow muddy water and good marginal pond cover. Feed as other ducks - grain, pellets, bread, greenfood.
  • These ducks are easy to breed; close ground cover and ground-level nest boxes should be provided.
  • Hybrids have been reported with Anas cyanoptera - Cinnamon teal and Anas smithii - Cape shoveler.

(B29, B31, B94)

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size: K 10.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 21 inches, 54cm (B3); 45-56cm (B1)
Adult weight General 523-608g (B1)
Male Average 608g (B3); mean 1.3 lbs. (B8)
Female Average 523g (B3); mean 1.2 lbs. (B8)
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Black. Long and broad.
Variations (If present) Brown-black.
Eyes (Iris) Male White to straw-coloured.
Variations(If present) Brown.
Juvenile Bill Brown-black.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Yellow/orange.
Variations (If present) Female: Yellow-grey
Juvenile --

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Plumage

Adult Male Head and neck pinkish buff with darker spotting, heaviest on crown, absent on throat. Upperparts and underparts mostly reddish chestnut with black spotting, rump and tail-coverts black, ventral region has small white patch either side, tail fairly long and pointed, black with white outer feathers. Scapulars elongated, pointed, black with white striping.

Wing has primaries blackish, coverts pale blue, greater coverts having broad white tips, secondaries metallic green/black.

Variations (If present) Female: head and neck dull buff/grey with fine black streaking, body buff with broad black-brown centres to feathers, pale edges. Tail pointed, centre feathers brown-black, outer feathers pale buff. Primaries blackish, coverts grey-blue, greater coverts having narrower white tips, secondaries metallic green/black (more black than males).
Juvenile Similar to female, but wing duller.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts sepia-brown with yellow-cinnamon markings, underparts and sides of head yellow-cinnamon, with dark eyeline and ear spot.
Bill: Dark grey.
Feet: Dark grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins September/October.
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On dry ground, in reeds or coarse grass, not far from water.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 5-8 (B1, B8).
Egg Description Creamy. Size: 52 x 36mm, weight: 46g.

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Incubation

25 days (B1, B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

50-60 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Presumed Anas standard: one year old.
Females Presumed Anas standard: one year old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Filters mud and water, also dabbles, head-dips and up-ends, but rarely dives
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Solitary nests or in loose groups,
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Tended by female only, although some males may accompany the family.
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious, often in small flocks, with larger flocks seen during the moult.
Inter-specific Frequently found with other waterfowl species, including swans.

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Sexual Behaviour

Reasonably strong pair bonds.

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

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Circadian --

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Natural Diet

Adults

Omnivorous: seeds, aquatic vegetation, planktonic-size crustaceans and molluscs, aquatic insects and larvae.

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal

Southern South America: Santa Fé region of Argentina southwards, and central Chile.

Southern populations winter further north (lower latitudes) to southern Peru, western Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.

Occasional and Accidental

Vagrant to Falkland Islands.

Introduced

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Habitat

Open lowland areas preferred, particularly shallow brackish lagoons and estuaries but also turbid alkaline freshwater lakes with dense zooplankton.

Found at up to 3400m in the Andes.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Fairly common.

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Well established.

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Trade

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