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Australasian Shoveler

Shovel by name and by nature!

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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.

Precinct
Australian Wetlands
Scientific name
Anas rhynchotis
Conservation status
Least Concern
Body length
46–53 cm
Weight
272–480 g
Class
Bird
Incubation
27 days
Number of eggs
9-11
Distribution
Central and southern coasts of Western Australia and most of eastern Australia
Habitat
Freshwater swamps, lakes and waterways
Region
Australia

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Map of Perth Zoo highlighting the Australian Wetlands