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This duck shoves its wide bill through mud and water, filtering out tiny, tasty treats.

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.

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.

Australian Wetlands
Scientific Name
Anas rhynchotis
Conservation Status
Least Concern
Body Length
46–53 cm
272–480 g
27 days
Number of Eggs
Central and southern coasts of Western Australia and most of eastern Australia
Freshwater swamps, lakes and waterways
extraMile by Integranet