Saturday, March 7, 2015

Waterfowl in Flight III

This beautiful duck, the Northern Shoveler, is another of the family of puddle ducks that feed from the surface of the water. Look at the handsome colors and intricate feather pattern on the back of this male!

This is one of a number of species that tip up and feed from the bottom of shallow areas in ponds and marshes. A shovel-shaped bill that exceeds the length of the head is one of it's most prominent characteristics.

These males are in breeding colors which differ quite a bit from their drab appearance when they sport their non-breeding plumage.

Other than two of the teals, this is the only duck that has blue on the forward part of it's wing.

Typical of almost all female duck species, the Shoveler female has much more subdued coloring. Unlike other families of ducks, puddle ducks can spring into the air without a running take-off.

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