Anas clypeata   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Birds and birding in India

Size: 51 cm.

Habits: Northern Shovelers prefer shallow saltwater or freshwater wetlands like marshes, swamps, lakes, and lagoons. As they are not not aggressive birds, they can get along with other dabbling ducks, diving ducks, whistling ducks and Shelducks.

The male Shoveler has greenish feathers on the head and neck, the breast and belly are white, the back is black and white, and the wings have a chestnut hue, with the inner wings being bluish. The female's belly and breast are white, the body is a brownish color, and the inner wings are bluish. The bill of the Northern Shoveler has hair like lamellae that filter the water and capture the small plankton. The most distinctive feature is their large spatulate bill. It is twice as wide at the tip than it is at the base. This uniquely shaped bill gives rise to Northern Shovelers also being called "spoonbills".

Nesting: Season- in the Palaearctic Region (N. Europe etc.) April to June. Nest- a pad of grass and rushes, on marshes etc. Eggs- 7 to 16, pale stone or buff, sometimes with a greenish tinge. Incubation by the female alone begins immediately after all the eggs are laid and can last 23 to 25 days. The ducklings are born precocial and start following the female almost immediately.

Average lifespan-223 months

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Shoveller (English)
• Northern Shoveller (English)
• Tidari (Hindi)
• Punana (Hindi)
• Ghirah (Hindi)
• Khokhar (Hindi)
• Sankhar (Hindi)
• Khat hansak (Sanskrit)
• Chamcha muti batu (Telugu)
• Mattimukh cheravi (Tamil)
• Thaptya (Marathi)
• Gayano (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened by habitat loss and is occasionally killed by collisions with power transmission lines. The species may suffer from reproductive impairment as a result of selenium (Se) accumulation in liver tissues (selenium contained in sub-surface agricultural drain-water used for wetland management in California led to bioaccumulation of the element in the food chain).)
Threats:  Natural threats
(It is susceptible to avian influenza and avian botulism so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.)
Importance:  Commercial
(Northern Shovelers are a game bird. Hunters often shoot them due to their resemblance to mallards. They are often referred to as "neighbor's mallards," because some hunters give them to their neighbors and keep the more tasty mallards for themselves.)

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Water insects, snails and plankton, fish, spawn and small quantities of vegetable shoots.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi estuary INDIA (Record: 04/03/1988)
• Goa, Chapora estuary INDIA
• Orissa, Honeymoon Island INDIA (Record: 13/06/1986)
• Orissa, Balugaon INDIA (Record: 15/11/1972)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Maharashtra, Navi Mumbai INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Birding in India and South Asia Available at -
  • Chattopadhyay, S (1995) Aves Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 561-599 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Borges, SD and Shanbhag, AB (2008) Food resource partitioning among waterbirds wintering on the Diwar wetland in the Mandove estuary of Goa, India Proceedings of Taal2007:The 12th World Lake conference 124-130 Available at -
  • Nagarjuna, A; Kumar,NVN; Kalarani, V and Reddy, DC (2010) Aquatic and avian biodiversity of Pulicat brackish water lake and ecological degradation World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 2 (2) 118-123 Available at -
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Avibase- the world database Available at -
  • Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent ENVIS Newsletter: Avian Ecology and Inland Wetland 55pp Available at -
  • Gupta RC, Kaushik TK and Gupta PK (2012) WINTER MIGRATORY WETLAND BIRDS IN HARYANA ARE CONFRONTING ADVERSE CONDITIONS IN RURAL PONDS Resulting in reduction in arrival number: A case study of village Amin in Thanesar block in Kurukshetra district Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 2 (1) 7pp Available at -
  • Kumar P and Gupta SK (2009) Diversity and Abundance of Wetland Birds around Kurukshetra, India Our Nature 7 212-217 Available at -
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at -
  • Pawar PP (2011) Species diversity of birds in mangroves of Uran (Raigad), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, West coast of India Journal of Experimental Sciences 2(10) 73-77 Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-06-20

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