Conservation status: Amber
Shovelers are surface feeing ducks with huge spatulate bills. Males have dark green heads, with white breasts and chestnut flanks. Females are mottled brown. In flight birds show patches of light blue and green on their wings. In the UK they breed in southern and eastern England, especially around the Ouse Washes, the Humber and the North Kent Marshes, and in much smaller numbers in Scotland and western parts of England. In winter, breeding birds move south, and are replaced by an influx of continental birds from further north. The UK is home to more than 20% of the NW European population, making it an Amber List species.
Shoveler - male
Shoveler - female
Male shoveler in 'eclipse' plumage (artwork)
Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)
Where to see them
Although widespread in winter, they can be seen in large numbers at places such as the RSPB's Ouse Washes nature reserve, Rutland Water and Abberton Reservoir in Essex.
When to see them
All year round
What they eat
Small insects and plant matter sifted from the water.
|Europe||UK breeding*||UK wintering*||UK passage*|
|-||310-1,020 pairs||18,000 birds||-|