Northern (European) Shoveler | Anas clypeata

The Northern Shoveler most likely occurs in Southern Africa because of escaped birds, there could possibly be some vagrant birds present too.

Robert's Birding Information: Northern (European) Shoveler

Northern (European) ShovelerThe Northern Shoveler is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the Northern Shoveler (Latin name Anas clypeata) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anas clypeata can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 111 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 110. You will find a picture of the Northern Shoveler on page 96.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as the European Shoveler in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Northern Shoveler between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Northern Shoveler has a height of 52 cms and weighs around 465 gms. The head is coloured green while the bill is coloured black. The Anas clypeata has a white coloured throat, orange legs and a sepia coloured back. The eyes are sepia.

The male Anas clypeata has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is green.

Eyes are sepia.

Bill is black.

Legs are orange.

Throat is white.

Back is sepia.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Male adult Northern Shoveler
Female Adult  
Juvenile Similar to female.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Northern (European) Shoveler Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Northern (European) Shoveler Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Northern Shoveler is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.