Australasian Shoveler

Australasian Shoveler (Spatula rhynochotis) is a medium-sized duck that has an enormous bill, even when considering it is a shoveler. It is among 4 worldwide shoveler species. Protected in Australia due to animal party politics (where there are zero science-based biological surveys performed), they are readily hunted in nearby New Zealand.  There are considered two subspecies of the Australasian Shoveler. Australasian Shoveler has bright yellow irises and yellow to orange legs and feet.

Australasian Shoveler plumage on the head and neck is dark gray, with crescents of black and white appearing on each side of the face closest to the bill. The chest is dappled with black and white or black and cream that gradually turns into red and black on the flanks. When in flight, the blue marginal coverts, white secondary coverts, and iridescent teal green speculum are visible. This species is sexually dimorphic, and the females are overall dappled brown.

Australasian Shoveler has a very large range and is found in southwestern Australia and Tasmania, and also found in southwestern and southeastern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Following in suit with other shoveler species, the Australasian Shoveler will in extremely large flocks together. Normally seen in flocks year-round Breeding season can start in August with the peak nesting period happening in October.

New Zealand Duck Hunting Numbers