Must Be Something Good In There

Early this afternoon we were watching a small group of northern shoveler ducks feeding around the widgeon grass in the marsh pond area. It was a mixed group of males and females. The males have the glossy green heads and may be in a breeding plumage phase.

I don’t exactly know what they were eating but they must have been quite thrilled with it because I almost never saw any with their head up out of the water. I had to be fast just to grab these shots here.

That over sized bill contributes to the duck’s name similar to the spoonbill. How on earth do they ever come up with these names?! 🙂

Northern Shovelers Feeding in the Marsh Pond

Northern Shovelers Feeding in the Marsh Pond

Northern Shovelers Feeding in the Marsh Pond


16 thoughts on “Must Be Something Good In There

  1. Shovelers I just love them, what great photos so many thanks Phil

    My Dad just passed away last week at 95, and he taught me “to see” and made me the gardener and nature lover I have become. I just had to share since Mom passed a short while ago and taught you “to see”. What blessed people we are.

    • Thanks so much for writing Suzanne and my sincere condolences on the loss of your dad, that is sad news indeed.
      I greatly appreciate you remembering what I wrote about my mom (she was also 95) and relating it to your own experience of how your dad’s view of the world so positively affected your love of the wonders we see and find in nature.
      We are both indeed blessed to have received such gifts. Think of your dad often especially as you enjoy the beauty that the garden and wildlife provide for you, he will know.
      Warm regards, Phil

  2. Apparently they swing these bills from side to side under the water and the bills have comblike structures on the edge, that act like a sieve and enable them to catch small crustaceans and plankton from the water. In the last of these photos, you can see them quite clearly. Terrific photography, Phil!

    • I believe you are correct about that Maggie , plus you have to figure the shovelers have those huge bills for a reason.
      The spoonbills are another story, I’m still not exactly sure how those birds catch food. They must be fast snappers. 🙂

  3. What perfect timing with the first shot. Thanks for your daily post. I look forward to them and enjoy each of them. They keep me in touch with what’s going on at Huntington since I can’t be there often enough.

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