Australasian shoveler

Australische slobeend

Australasian shoveler (Anas rhynchotis rhynchotis)

The Australasian shoveler (Anas rhynchotis rhynchotis) is a dabbling duck from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
Australische slobeend
English name:
Australasian shoveler
German name:
Australische Löffelente
French name:
Canard bridé
Scientific name:
Anas rhynchotis rhynchotis

Scientific classification




The Australian Shoveler is a medium-sized, dabbling duck. In the beauty dress, the male has a blue-gray head. The head feathers shines weakly. Remarkable is an oblong, white line running downwards from the front eyelid. It is particularly pronounced in the New Zealand subspecies. Its shape is variable, sometimes almost crescent-shaped. In the nominate form, it is occasionally hinted at. The vertex and throat are black-gray. The body bottom is gray. The feathers of the breast have different widths, bright seams, so that the breast looks scaly. This is particularly noticeable in the New Zealand subspecies, where in some years the seams are wide white. The same individuals have in some years, but also narrow bright cream-colored fringed breast feathers.

The Australian shoveler male's body sides are bright reddish brown to maroon. On the flanks there is a striking white spot. The back plumage is dark black-brown. The Schwanzunterdecke is a little lighter colored brown. In dormant or buoyant Australian shovelers, there are elongated feathers on the sides, some of which have white feather stems. In flight, the bright green wing mirror is conspicuous, which is bounded by a broad white band. The big, chunky beak is black-gray, the eyes are yellowish. Legs and feet are orange. In the resting gown the male of the nominate form resembles the female. However, the male is slightly reddish brown overall than the female. Even in the resting dress the eyes are yellowish. In the New Zealand subspecies, the back feathers in the serene gown of the male are black-green with narrow hems. The females of this subspecies have feathers with broad dark brown hems on the back.

The female has a brown spotted plumage. Her eyes are brown and legs and feet are of a brownish orange. Also in her wing mirror is striking in flight. He is however overall brownish. 

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Australasian shoveler measures approximately 46-53 centimeters. The female measures approximately 46-53 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 665 gram. The female will weight about 665 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!
  • S. rhynchotis rhynchotis Australian shoveler, the nominate race, occurs in southwestern and southeastern Australia and Tasmania.
  • S. rhynchotis variegata New Zealand shoveler, occurs in New Zealand.

Australian shovels nest individually. According to current knowledge, they raise only one clutch per year. The nest is often well hidden in the vegetation at some distance from the water. The nesting place is chosen by the pair of ducks.

The female Australasian shoveler usually lays from 9-11 light blue green eggs and incubates them for 24-25 days.

Bird banding:
Recommended leg band size for the Australasian shoveler is 9 mm.
The leg band can only be applied on a young dabbling duck at around 0 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it is good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Preferred food:
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular

Lundi Regular with a protein content of 20%, valuable Spirulina and high-quality by-products is optimally balanced in its composition maintenance food for water ornamental fowl of all kinds. Especially green teal and Whistling ducks that are not dependent on a very high protein content, are well supplied.

Lundi Regular contains all the minerals and vitamins in full form that are important for the animals. Therefore also suitable as breeding food.

Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium
Lundi Premium

Floating full food for all sea ducks, green ducks, eider ducks and geese, especially in the moulting and breeding phase ideally suited. Packed with wholesome raw materials, natural vitamins and trace elements, this performance food with a protein content of 30% forms the basis for lifelong vitality.

Photos of the Australasian shoveler

Videos of the Australasian shoveler

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