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Shoveler: Cape

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Johan van Rensburg
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Shoveler: Cape

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:03 pm

The Cape Shoveler, Anas smithii is resident to South Africa, uncommon further north in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and southern Angola.

This duck is non-migratory, but undertakes some local seasonal movements. It is gregarious when not breeding and may then form large flocks.

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This species has a large, dark, flat and wide bill. Adults have speckled grey-brown plumage and dull orange legs. As with many southern hemisphere ducks, the sexes appear similar, but the male has a paler head and neck than the female, a pale blue forewing separated from the green speculum by a white border and yellow eyes. The female's forewing is grey and her eyes dark brown.

It is a bird of open wetlands, such as wet grassland or marshes with some emergent vegetation. It feeds by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side to strain food from the water. This bird also eats molluscs and insects in the nesting season. The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with plant material and down, in dense cover, usually closes to water. Five to thirteen eggs are laid at any time of the year, with a peak in summer.
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Cape Shoveler

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:45 pm

Mating seems to be a brutal affair for shovelers...

She is minding her own business...

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...when all of a sudden this hunk accosts her...

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...giving her a propper dunking!

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:shock: What's with the rough watersports, I ask you! :twisted:
But is she peeved? Or is it a glint of satisfaction I spy in her eye? :lol:

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Two things are clear from this series of shots:
1. The difference between male and female - he is ALWAYS on top :twisted:
2. They are mainly filter-feeders... look at the filtering fibres lining her bill (the first pic)
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Nyala » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:12 am

I would appreciate help in identifying the brown 'Duck' in the photo. Seen at Rondevlei (Cape) in January '09. I was thinking of a Southern Pochard, but the orange legs do not match.

Thanks,

James

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby JoelR » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:16 am

Male Cape Shoveler. :wink:

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Nyala » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:32 am

JoelR wrote:Male Cape Shoveler. :wink:


Thanks JoelR. What reference book(s) do you use?
I need to get a couple more.
I only have Sason 3rd Edition and in my book it pictures the Cape Shoveler as speckled with yellow legs. The description mentions orange legs, though.

James

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby JoelR » Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:47 am

Nyala wrote:Thanks JoelR. What reference book(s) do you use?

The shoveler is very clearly depicted in e.g. the Roberts Field Guide. You don't really need the leg colour for this ID though, the bill shape of a shoveler is different from all other ducks.

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Re: Shoveler: Cape

Unread postby Yolandé Oelsen » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:16 pm

Seen from the Hadeda Hide at marievale.

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Re: Shoveler: Cape

Unread postby Johann » Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:48 pm

Photographed from the Hadeda hide at Marievale Bird Sanctuary outside Nigel, Gauteng.

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Re: Shoveler: Cape

Unread postby bishop3006 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:11 pm

Wow! Thanks for posting.
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