A PAIR is one male and one female similar-aged ducks of the same breed, unrelated.
This North American Shoveler Duck is perhaps the easiest to spot of all dabbling ducks due to its distinctive coloration and that large bill. The Northern Shoveler is the most abundant of the four breeds of shovelers, with the other three species are found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere.
Shovelers have a unique, large spoon-shaped bill that features lamellae, or comb-like teeth that act as filters. The duck glides its bill over the surface of the water, often from side to side, and the lamellae filter minute particles of food from the water. They don't dive and don't feed on land as most ducks will. Another distinct feature of the shoveler is their yellow eyes and bright yellow-orange legs.
A male in breeding plumage will sport a bright, iridescent green head, chestnut sides, a white breast, and beautiful black feathers down its back and tail. Females and out-of-season males will appear fawn-colored with darker patterns that are truly beautiful.
Being a little more delicate than other types of Wild Ducks, North American Shovelers are best kept in aviaries. They are not aggressive and can be kept with other species. They generally don't breed until their second year, with clutches of 6-12 eggs that are incubated, by females only, for 24 days to hatch. These birds prefer the cover of tall grasses to nest and may not nest at all without it.
The bills of the ducklings appear normal but will soon change to a distinctive shoveler shape. They will grow to about 1.5 lbs at full growth and, despite their heavy shape, are wonderful flyers.
Conservation Status: Least Concern (population decline)
Higher Classification: Spatula