Geographical Range Eurasia, North America; winters in southern United States, Africa, Pacific Islands, South America
Habitat Shallow lakes, marshes, swamps, slow streams, flooded fields
Scientific Name Anas clypeata
Conservation Status Common

The male northern shoveler is a handsome bird, with a green head, white body, reddish undersides and black wings. As with many other duck species, the female is colored more drably -- primarily mottled brown -- to help hide her as she sits on the nest. Both sexes have the shovel-shaped bill that gives the birds their name.

As filter feeders, northern shovelers use their special bill as they search for food just above the bottom of a pond or lake. They suck water into the front of their bills, then use the comb-like edges on their bill to strain out plants and small aquatic animals. They squirt the mud and excess water out of the sides of their bills and swallow the edible food that's left.