Cape Shoveler

Cape Shoveler (Spatula smithii) have the same classic and unique bill of their well-known western cousin, the Northern Shoveler, and are among 4 shoveler species worldwide. The males of this large species are easily distinguished from females by their small, yellow eyes on their lighter gray-brown heads. Males have elongated, pitch-black bills, with the female’s bill appearing slightly paler. Male Cape Shoveler are the only common Africa duck species that has sky-blue marginal coverts. The secondary coverts are pure white, which makes the blue marginal coverts and iridescent green secondaries stand out even more. Male and female Cape Shoveler have brown feathers scalloped with light brown or tan that could also be compared to Mallard hens. Legs of both sexes are dull orange-yellow. This species is not frequently confused with any other bird, except for any vagrant Northern Shoveler females within the same area.

cape shoveler south africa species