The Shoveler has its name 'Shoveler' because it has an large spatula-like beak which it uses to sift through water and mud to find food. It is a heavy-looking duck that can be found in many parts of England in wet grassland, marshes, small lakes or areas where there is shallow fresh water surrounded by vegetation.
The male Shoveler is easily recognisable because it has a shiny dark green head and a white neck. It also has long black and white feathers on the top part of its body.. Its sides are white and a deep orange colour which are divided partly by bright blue feathers. The female Shoveler is brown with darker brown markings with a brown eye stripe and white underwings. The male has bright orange-yellow eyes, but both the male and the female have bright orange legs and feet.
Shovelers are filter feeders and use their long beaks to scoop water into their beaks as they float on the surface of the water. Then they filter small plankton-like animals and plants by using the sides of their beaks which have tooth-like ridges running along them. They flush the water out of the sides of their beaks, but keep the food inside. Sometimes Shovelers look for food by tipping their heads in the water with their tails sticking out. This is called ‘up-ending’.