Discover… Australian Shovelers 

Australasian Shovelers are curious looking ducks distinguished by their large shovel bills, piercing yellow eyes and bright orange legs. Another species with an impressive bill, Australasian Shovelers will delight duck lovers.  

Another duck of many nicknames 

Like their friends Pink-eared ducks, Australasian Shovelers go by a few names, most of which pay homage to their distinct bills. They are also referred to as ‘Spoonbill Ducks’ and ‘Shovelbills’. Whether their bills are more akin to spoons or shovels we’re not sure, but you may also hear this duck commonly referred to as the Blue-winged Shoveler because of the blueish-green patch of feathers on their wings. 

Putting their bills to good use 

Australasian Shovelers’ bills are not just for good looks and fun nicknames; these bills have a practical purpose too. Like other native duck species, Australasian Shovelers are filter feeders. Their bills are fitted with special grooves, also known as lamellae. These grooves help them filter out their food through the water and mud. Favourite meals of the Australasian Shoveler include insects, small crustaceans and some plants, which they find in open water or wetlands.  

Always on the move 

Australasian Shovelers are a very flighty species, never staying too long in one place.  Like the Pacific Black Duck, Australasian Shovelers even travel across the ditch to New Zealand and visit both the North and South Islands. 

Australasian Shovelers have been recently spotted in northern parts of Victoria, including near Kerang and Lake Boga. 

Want to know more about the Australasian Shovelers? Download our fact sheet here. Or take the quiz to test how much you really know about ducks! 

Listen to the Australian Shoveler