Red Shoveler

Anas platalea

Animals of South America Back
As the scientific name platalea, meaning spoonbill, suggests, the red shoveler has a distinctive spatula-shaped bill. It is the only shoveler of South America.

Red shovelers are often found in pairs, which forms on the wintering grounds, or in small groups. During the molting period, they can gather in large flocks. The courtship displays can be noisy. Usually, copulation takes place on the water after several displays, such as “head-dipping” during which both birds raise and lower their heads slowly, or “head-up-tail-up” swimming posture directed at the selected mate.


Feeds on aquatic vegetation such as seeds and parts of aquatic plants. It also takes small invertebrates.   

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