A common dabbling duck, particularly during the winter, Shovelers feed by sweeping their bills back and forth through the water, filtering out small invertebrates, plant seeds and other plant matter.
How to identify
The Shoveler lives up to its name and can be distinguished by its long, broad 'shovel' of a bill. The male has a dark green head, white breast and orangey-brown sides during the breeding season. Females are mottled brown but have a pale blue forewing.
Where to find it
Nests in southern and eastern England and in Scotland. More common in the winter, when it is quite widespread throughout the country.
When to find it
How can people help
The UK is home to 20% of the north-west European population of Shovelers, making it an important refuge. The Ouse Washes are particularly important for this species, supporting more than 150 pairs which is 2% of the international population. But our wetlands areas are threatened by development, drainage and climate change. Local Wildlife Trusts work hard to protect and manage the wetland habitats that our waterbirds need to survive; by volunteering you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.