The shoveller duck is not too common and is protected in most states from hunting.


At first sight, way off from the blind, his green head makes you think he is a mallard, but as he comes closer his wing beats and size show him to be what he is. A closer look shows the tremendous beak, almost twice the size of the mallard's.

His breast is white, rather than russet, as the mallard. His flanks are a reddish-cinnamon. His wings are colored somewhat like the greenwing teal, with the large light-blue patch on the first section of the wing.

The female is colored about like the female mallard, and the only way to distinguish them is by the long bill worn by the shovel ducks.

They are sporadic on the East Coast, their biggest flyway being the West Coast and inland to Utah from British Columbia to central Mexico.

to return to diving-ducks from shovel duck click here