Trade in your snow shovels for Northern Shovelers!

Northern Shovelers taking a nap!

Northern Shovelers taking a nap! Click on the pic to enlarge.

Well instead of a quick nibbly at Panera, my friend Ann and I went to the small watering hole across from the horse barns at UMass to see a group of Northern Shovelers.  I’ve never seen them before.  Wow.  They are named appropriately, their bills are huge! They could have helped me shovel all the snow this winter!  It looks like they’re just passing through to the north central states and Western Canada to breed.  These dabbling ducks are sometimes referred to as spoonbill or “spoony” because of the large spatula-like bill.  It has over a 100 projections called lamellae along the edges to strain the water for food particles.
And then, right across the road were a huge number of killdear and wilson snipes!  I thought there were only three but in watching the video afterwards, there were four plus a couple in the foreground. Yahooo!

Here's a broad picture of the snipes.  Click on it to enlarge and see if you can find the others in the foreground...

Here’s a broad picture of the snipes. Click on it to enlarge and see if you can find the others in the foreground…

Here’s some video I took of the shovelers and snipes.  See if you can find the snipes in the foreground early in the video!

northern shoveler bill

What a bill on this baby. No wonder they’re called shovelers!

northern shoveler female bill

They kept pulling up vegetation from the bottom. Hmmm, I wonder if they are vegan?

northern shoveler group from behind

Off to find more gunk to sift through…


About John Body

I live in Western Massachusetts, in the incredibly beautiful Connecticut River Valley. I've been hiking, kayaking, and tracking wildlife throughout the Valley with lots of photos and videos that people may like to see. Whenever I travel I also take my cameras just in case I see great scenery or wildlife. My passion is wildlife conservation so I try to attend wildlife workshops and land preservation events (Habitat, Habitat, Habitat!). When I get a chance, I videotape the experts, they're just so knowledgeable and inspiring. I hope you enjoy my posts.
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