Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Anas / Species
< >  Anas clypeata - Northern 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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(Waterfowl)

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Shoveler
European shoveler
Common shoveler
Löffelente (German)
Canard souchet (French)
Souchet ordinaire (French)
Cuchara comün (Spanish)
Pato cuchara comün (Spanish)
Spatula clypeata

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

Eclipse.

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B31, B40, B94, B96, B97, B108, B128.w1, B128.w2, B129
D1, D8

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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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:

  • Northern shovelers are hardy, but shelter should be provided in prolonged frosts. Warm, sunny ponds with shallow muddy water, shallow, well-grown shore vegetation and adjoining grass areas are preferred, particularly a large enclosure supporting natural animal food. Feed pellets, grain up to wheat-size, duckweed, bread plus additional animal material if the pond does not contain natural invertebrates. Easy to manage but can be aggressive (somewhat territorial while nesting) and may be a problem in mixed collections, particularly while breeding, unless on a very large pool/lake.
  • Commonly bred in captivity. Nest in vegetation such as grass and reeds, eggs laid April to May or June. These are reliable breeders but susceptible to predators, therefore eggs removal is suggested. A second and even a third clutch may be laid if the clutches are removed. Ducklings may be delicate and difficult to get going initially. Fine-particle food dropped onto water useful for feeding ducklings initially, and live insects as well as starter crumbs, also duckweed.
  • These ducks may hybridise with other Anas spp. and hybrids have been reported also with Aix sponsa - Wood duck , Aythya nyroca - Ferruginous pochard and Cairina moschata - Muscovy duck, but not usually once firmly paired.

(B29, B31, B40, B94, B96, B97, B108, B128.w2, B129).

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

Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 17-22 inches, 43-56cm (B3, B1).
Adult weight General 410-1100g (B1)
Male 410-1100g
Female 420-763g (B3);
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Black.
Variations (If present) Grey-blue.
Eyes (Iris) Male Yellow
Variations(If present) Yellow to brown
Juvenile Bill Grey
Eyes (Iris) Yellow to brown

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Legs

Adult Male Orange-red.
Variations (If present) Orange.
Juvenile Orange.

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Plumage

Adult Male Head and upper neck glossy green-black, lower neck and breast white, abdomen and flanks chestnut, rump, tail centre and tail-coverts black, white patch either side of ventral area, sides of tail whitish. Small scapulars white continuing as line back from breast, mantle dark brown-grey with pale feather edges, long scapulars black with white and blue striping.

Wing has primaries blackish, coverts light blue, greater coverts broadly tipped white, secondaries metallic green.

Variations (If present) Female: head and neck buff with darker streaking and dark crown, hindneck and poorly-defined eye-stripe. Body light buff-brown with darker feather centres, upperpart feathers darkest. Primaries blackish, coverts grey-blue, greater coverts narrowly tipped white, secondaries metallic black/green.

Eclipse: similar to female but more rufous, particularly on underparts, with darker head markings; retains wing colour

Juvenile Similar to female, darker upperparts, duller wing.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown with fine yellow markings, underparts dull yellow, with dark brown eyeline and broad 'ear' line.
Bill: Red-brown.
Feet: Dark grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins April/May.
No. of Clutches Replacement clutch laid if first clutch lost.

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Nest placement and structure

On fairly open ground near water, constructed from dry grasses lined with down and feathers.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 9-11 (B1).
Range 6-14 (B1)
Egg Description Olive buff to greenish (B3, B8). Size: 55 x 37mm; weight: 40g (B3).

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Incubation

22-28 days , mean 25 days (B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

40-45 days.

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Sexual Maturity

Males One year old.
Females One year old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Water-filter and dabble surface, head-dip and up-end, also dive in shallows and take insects direct from water.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Solitary nests or in loose groups. Built by female only.
Incubation By female only
Newly-hatched Tended by female.
Juveniles

Independent at or just before fledging.

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious except territorial when nesting. Often found in groups of 20-30, sometimes much larger flocks in winter.
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Strong seasonal pair bond; male often remains with female through most or all of incubation.

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Predation in Wild

--

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Activity Patterns

--
Circadian Diurnal feeders.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Small size aquatic insects, larvae, crustaceans, molluscs, seeds, plant debris.

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Newly-hatched

--

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Across the Palearctic and Nearctic but not in the high Arctic.

London: In the London Area, "common passage migrant and winter visitor, scarce breeder, with birds often recorded in summer." In 2000, breeding recorded at Rainham Marsh, Rye Meads and Brent Reservoir; tens to a hundred or a few hundred birds at various reservoirs, Rainham Marsh, etc. In Inner London, small numbers but as many as 18 at Regent's Park in January 2000 and 48 in Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. (J322.65.w1)

Migrate south to winter at lower latitudes: southern USA, Central America, Mediterranean basin, tropical Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, South-east Asia.

Occasional and Accidental

Accidental to Bear Island, Spitsbergen, Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands.

Introduced

--

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Habitat

Shallow freshwater lakes and marshes, densely vegetated lakes preferred. Also brackish lagoons and tidal mudflats in winter.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

--

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Not threatened (B1).

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 2 - Part I (Birds which may be killed or taken outside the close season, 1 February to 31 August except where indicated otherwise: Notes on the revised schedules state "NOTE: The close season for ducks and geese when below high water mark is 21 February to 31 August") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 3 - Part 3 (Birds which may be sold alive at all times if ringed and bred in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds which may be sold dead from 1 September to 28 February (NB: It is illegal to offer for sale at any time of the year any wild goose, moorhen, gadwall or goldeneye, although they are legitimate quarry species outside the close season)) of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing CITES III in Ghana (B1).
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats --

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Captive Populations

Well represented in collections (B8).

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Trade

--

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