Distribution: Central and southern coasts of Western Australia and most of eastern Australia
Habitat: Freshwater swamps, lakes and waterways
Description: The male Australasian Shoveler has a blue-grey head with a black, spoon-shaped bill. Its body is a rich chestnut colour with white patches. Females are a duller mottled-brown colour.
Diet: The shoveler is an omnivore. It eats insects, crustaceans and seeds. While swimming, it keeps its bill below the water surface and filters out food.
Breeding: During the breeding season between August and December, the male shoveler’s usually brown neck and wing feathers change to blue-green. The female’s feathers are unchanged, remaining brown year-round. In desert areas the shoveler breeds any time of year after heavy rainfall.
Threats: The destruction of its wetland habitat is a threat to the shoveler.
At Perth Zoo: The Australasian Shoveler is found in the Australian Wetlands.
Did You Know? The Australasian Shoveler’s bill is perfect for its eating habits, with fine hair-like components which strain the water and mud for food.