Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

The Northern Shoveler is quite a weird duck, with a huge broad beak that’s used to probe the water surface for prey. They are migratory birds and only reach Costa Rica from October to March in small numbers, concentrating in Palo Verde and Caño Negro National Parks. The female is similar to the Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teals, but the beak sets them apart. The male has some similarity with the Cinnamon Teal, but the Shoveler has the broad beak in dark gray color, iridescent green head and white chest, rendering it unmistakable. The individuals below were photographed in Vermilion Lakes, Alberta during a Photography Workshop with ToTheWonder, in September 2017.


I spotted a group of female Northern Shovelers at Vermilion Lakes. But they will also come to the shallows and probe for small crustaceans and worms


This swampy area is the perfect place to dig for a meal


And then head back to the water.


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