Red Shoveler Duck
The Red Shoveler Duck (Anas platalea) is a species of dabbling duck of the genus Anas. It is found in southern South America, in Argentina, southern Peru, southern Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, southern Brazil, and Chile. In winter the southernmost birds migrate north to Brazil and Peru. The red shoveler is an attractive duck with a large, distinctive, spatula-shaped beak, from which it gains its species name, platalea, meaning ‘spoonbill’.
Male – The male Red Shoveler has a pale buff head and neck stippled with black with a darker stripe on the crown running down the nape, a large black spatula shaped beak, pale eyes, black spotted red chestnut body, black lower back and rump, black tail with white outer feathers, underside of wings are white and the upper wing has a light blue patch and iridescent green speculum.
Female – The female is brownish-grey with plain grey-brown head, brown eyes, and also has the distinctive large spatula shaped beak.
Size: – Typical Adult is 16-33 inches.
Food: – Aquatic plants, seeds, weeds, invertebrates, insects, worms, and molluscs.
Habitat: – Wetlands, shallow lakes, pools, marshes, lagoons, and estuaries in Argentina, south Peru, south Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, and the Falkland Islands. Winters further north in Brazil and Peru.
Breeding Season: – Begins September or October.
Eggs: – 5 to 8 (creamy-white color).
Notes: – The Red Shoveler is a South American dabbling duck. It has a very distinctive large spatula shaped beak which it uses to filter food such as small animals, insects, and plankton from the water.