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Reddish Vale Country Park

Length 48 cm,

Wingspan 77 cm,

Weight 630g,

Maximum recorded lifespan 13yrs, 7 months,

Diet, Small insects and plant matter sifted from the water.

Up to 1,000-1,500 breeding pairs, 15,200 individuals.

Shoveler

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Shovelers are surface feeding ducks with huge spatulate bills. Males have dark green heads, with white breasts and chestnut flanks. Females are mottled brown. In flight birds show patches of light blue and green on their wings.

 

In the UK they breed in southern and eastern England, especially around the Ouse Washes, the Humber and the North Kent Marshes, and in much smaller numbers in Scotland and western parts of England. In winter, breeding birds move south, and are replaced by an influx of continental birds from further north. The UK is home to more than 20% of the NW European population, making it an Amber List species.

 

Northern Shovelers feed by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water. It also eats mollusks and insects in the nesting season.

 

The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down, usually close to water.

 

This is a fairly quiet species. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a Mallard-like quack.

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Reddish Vale Country Park

Shoveler