Friday, June 24, 2011

Wildfife Photo: Northern Shoveler, Duck in the Mud


This is a photo of a duck commonly called the Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  shot back in Jan 2009. 

They migrate to Okinawa, Japan only for the winter months and are all gone, now.  They can be found in fresh waters and marshes all over the northern parts of Asia, Europe and North America. 

Every once in awhile someone even spots them visiting Australia but, it's rare.

The mud you see this duck hanging out in is a field of water potatoes (taro) and what these ducks do is dive into the muddy water with their shovel-shaped noses and come up with a mouthful of nasty looking water.  A small hole in the center of the bill serves as a drain. 
They just spit out the muddy water and eat whatever bugs, crustaceans, or plant matter they like.  

Just like little kids, only they don't need any adult supervision.  Hah !

If you want more information on the Northern Shoveler, or any bird, around the globe, for that matter check out where I go for wildlife information:  THE BIRD FORUM  They have a Bird Encyclopedia named OPUS.  Type in a bird's common name or scientific name and you can find out all about it.

They'll tell you that female Northern Shovelers say "quack quack" but, the males say "took took" and just in case you don't believe them, they'll send you to where you can listen to "took took" and "quack quack".  If you ever run across some ducks in the mud where you live, you could strike up a conversation with them !


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