Australasian shoveler

Anas rhynchotis

The Australasian Shoveler is found in eastern Australia from Cairns to Tasmania.  In Western Australia can be found from the South up to the North West Cape. It may be found in large undisturbed and heavily vegetated freshwater swamps, it may also be seen on open waters and occasionally along the coast.

The Australasian Shoveler is a low-floating, dark headed duck, with a low sloping forehead blending to a heavy, square-cut, shovel-tipped bill. It is a filter feeder, using special lamellae (grooves) along the edges of the bill to filter insects, crustaceans and a variety of plants from the water. This specialised bill limits the Shoveler’s foraging range to aquatic habitats on open water or soft mud in fertile wetlands.

The Australasian Shoveler breeds at almost any time in the arid parts of the continent, synchronised with flooding rains. Nests are built on the ground in dense vegetation, sometimes on a stump or hollow of a tree that is standing in water. The female alone incubates the eggs and broods the young.


reference: Birdlife Australia

Reader’s Digest Complete Book of Aust. Native Birds