Northern Shoveler (Anas Clypeata), or Shoveler, is a common duck. It breeds in northern areas of Europe and Asia and across most of North America, and is a rare vagrant to Australia. It is the most colorful, numerous and widespread of the four Shovelers. Its specific name originates from the Latin meaning shielded, or “furnished with a shield” in reference to the spatulate bill that is the most developed of the four Shovelers. This species is unmistakable in the northern hemisphere due to its large spatulate bill. The breeding drake has an iridescent dark green head and necks of drake Northern Shovelers (Anas Clypeata) often appear blackish from afar. Their black bills, pale yellow to orange eyes, orange legs and feet with white breast and rusty-chestnut lower bellies and flanks. In flight, pale blue forewing feathers are revealed, separated from the green speculum by a white border. In early fall the male will have a white crescent on each side of the face. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake resembles the female. The female is a drab mottled brown like other dabblers, with plumage much like a female Mallard (Anas Platyrhynchos), but easily distinguished by the long broad bill, which is gray tinged with orange on cutting edge and lower mandible. The female's forewing is grey. They feed by dabbling for plant food, often by swinging its bill from side to side and using the bill to strain food from the water. They use their highly specialized bill (from which their name is derived) to forage for aquatic invertebrates - a carnivorous diet. Their wide-flat bill is equipped with well-developed lamellae - small, comb-like structures on the edge of the bill that act like sieves, allowing the birds to skim crustaceans and plankton from the water's surface. This adaptation gives them an advantage over other puddle ducks, with which they do not have to compete for food resources during most of the year. Their nests consist of grass and down-lined hollows that are either in the open or well concealed in waterside vegetation, tall grass or under bushes. On prairie high ground, female may select sites far from water. Breeding as single pairs or in loose groups, nests may be as near as 15 feet to one another. The drakes are very territorial during breeding season and will defend their territory and partners from competing males. Drakes also engage in elaborate courtship behaviors; it is not uncommon for a dozen or more males to pursue a single hen. This is a fairly quiet species. The male has a clunking call, whereas the female has a Mallard (Anas Platyrhynchos)-like quack.