Northern Shoveller

Northern Shoveller is a winter visitor to wetlands around Surat and found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat during December/ January. (Please wait for a few seconds while the photos load onto the gallery. This may depend on your internet speed).

Scientific name : Anas clypeata 
Kingdom  : Animalia
Phylum     : Chordata
Class          : Aves
Order         : Anseriformes
Family       : Anatidae
Genus        : Anas
Species      : A. clypeata

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How to identify this bird:

  • It is about 44-52 cms long and it is easily identified by its long broad spatulate bill. Take a look at the photo gallery above and observe the features carefully.
  • Both male (drake) and female (ducks) have orange legs.
  • The male Northern shoveller (drake) has a glossy dark green head and neck.
  • The drake has a white breast and the rest of the underparts are mostly chestnut in colour.
  • The drake’s forewing is blue in colour and has a white bar between it and the metallic green speculum (bright patch of plumage on the wings).
  • The female (duck) is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers.
  • The duck is easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible.
  • The female’s forewing is gray.
  • Despite their stout appearance, shovelers are agile fliers.

Where do I find this bird:

  • You can find this birds during winter in the wetlands near DPS Tapi at Surat. It is one of the most common and one of the first  winter visitor to come and one of the last to leave.
  • It is generally a quiet bird. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a quack.
  • The Northern Shoveller is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some emergent vegetation.
  • It swims with its bill and neck stretched rigidly in front. It has
  • They feed on by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water.
  • Their wide-flat bill is highly specialised and equipped with 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 is the reason why shovelers are found in mud-bottomed marshes rich in invertebrate life.

Local Names :

Hindi        : Punana, Ghirah, Tidari, Tokarwala
Gujarati    : Gaino, Phatphaje
Bengali     : Khunte hans, Panta mukhi
Assamese : Nak dungara, Khantiya hans
Tamil        : Mattimikh cherevi