Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Northern Shoveler at Radio Road Ponds

Swimming northern shoveler drake

There's just something about northern shovelers that fascinates me, and it's always a pleasure when I get a chance to photograph one from up close. In most locations I've found them fairly skittish to approach, but after positioning myself along the edge of the water at Radio Road Ponds this one came quite close (in addition to others). In the shot below, he is motioning and vocalizing towards another duck that was in the area -- although I can't remember if it was a greeting towards a female or a less friendly call to a male rival.

Calling northern shoveler

Submitted to World Bird Wednesday -- follow the link to see the posts for this week!


  1. Great photos, Pat. We have a goldtone paperweight of a duck and always thought it's bill was too long but now we know why. It must be one of these guys. :)

  2. i love it when these guys visit our pond on their migratory route over winter. so unique.

  3. I really like the colourful ones and you've done a grand job!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  4. Excellent detail of this charismatic species Pat.
    I guess I'm going to have to work on my technique!!

  5. Your stalking skills are top shelf Pat. Thanks for sharing this close encounter!

  6. Beautiful bird and very nice photos.

  7. A beautiful bird wonderfully captured with your camera!
    What a striking yellow eye.

    Carletta@Round The Bend

  8. A beautiful bird to see. Great images of one of my favourite birds.

  9. That is a beautiful looking bird.

  10. Excellent photos! LOVE the huge wide beak on this duck--and the color is fantastic.

  11. Beautiful photos, they are gorgeous ducks. I love their colors.

  12. They remind me of a mallard wearing a tuxeto. They are a beautiful bird that I prefer watching their flight patterns and displays

    Great pictures.

  13. Amazing captures of a most beautiful duck! The iridescent head feathers are stunning. Always a joy to visit your wonderful blog!

  14. Wonderful photos, Pat, of a beautiful duck!

  15. That enormous beak contrasting with the coy look of the duck in the second photo! Great capture, Pat!

  16. Thanks for dropping by to visit my Sharp-shinned Hawk... your bird images are stunning! I could spend hours browsing your blog... for now I'll just comment on your Shoveler which is a bird I've not seen before... Lovely images... perfect detail! (Oh, and I agree with you about the elegance of the Avocet!)

  17. Thanks, Carol! That's funny about the paperweight!

    Thanks, texwisgirl! They are a pleasure to watch -- one of my favorite species.

    Thanks, Gary!

    Thanks, Robin!

    Thanks, Frank! I agree that they are rather charismatic -- not only gorgeous, but interesting behaviorally too!

    Thanks, Springman! This one was easy -- I just picked a spot near where I know they like to hang out and waited for them to come to me :-)

    Thanks, Mick!

    Thanks, Carletta! Their eyes really are wonderful!

    Thanks, Andrew!

    Thanks, Joo!

    Thanks, Neil!

    Thanks, Sondra! I love their beaks too -- so unique!

    Thanks, Eileen -- their colors really are wonderful.

    Thanks, Bill! lol! great description of a mallard in a tux -- love it!

    Thanks, Julie! The understated iridescence of ducks is wonderful to see when the light hits it right.

    Thanks, bailey-road!

    Thanks, Hilke! Great description of the second shot, very coy indeed!

    Thanks for stopping by and your kind words, Victoria!

  18. cute ducks :) they look so happy :)