Sunday, December 21, 2014

Northern Shoveler at Woodland Park, San Marcos

Northern Shoveler
Adult male Northern Shoveler. San Marcos, California. November 27, 2014. Greg Gillson
Here is a common local bird. The drake Northern Shoveler is quite a striking duck. The photo above is commonly called the breeding plumage, though some have argued that the drake's breeding plumage is actually the camouflage-brown coloring similar to the female, the so-called "eclipse" plumage.

Below is an immature male Northern Shoveler, very similar to the adult male's eclipse plumage. Note the yellow eye and black bill of the male.

Northern Shoveler
Immature male Northern Shoveler. San Marcos, California. November 27, 2014. Greg Gillson
For comparison, here are a couple female or hen Northern Shovelers from Oregon a few years ago. Note the orange bill and brown eye of the female.

Northern Shoveler
Female Northern Shovelers. Forest Grove, Oregon. October 19, 2010. Greg Gillson.