Shoveler ducks are not common in Ireland because they prefer living in marshes and wet places, As you all know we hate going to such places, as we would get all wet. Its outsized bill looks funny but it improves the way they feed. Its bill is very big and flat with rows of comb like "teeth" for sifting food from the water.
It is called a shoveler because of its beak. Northern Shovelers Latin name is Anas clypeata and are relatively small ducks with a large shovel-shaped bill. In the winter and spring the male, or drake, has spectacularly beautiful, shiny feathers. The male (drake) shows a lot of white, with a black head and dark patches on the sides.
The female has brown colouring with a white belly, a dark crested head, and a white patch surrounding the eye. Both male and female have lightish blue wing patches, and are easy to see in flight.
The Shoveler is widespread throughout the country but their r numbers are few. It is a winter visitor to Ireland. It can be found on freshwater wetlands and at the mouths of rivers called estuaries. Very few breed in Ireland. During the summer the male loses its brilliant colouring, becoming more like the female in appearance, with white face markings and a red and white bill.
At a distance you may think you have spotted a Mallard Duck's green
head -- until you notice the unusual bill-shape that gives this bird its name. Shovelers
also have dark bills in comparison to yellowish bills of Mallard ducks.
Written by --:Kevin Daly