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A day outing yesterday and my second encounter with Mr Shoveler, this time a closer look at his lovely shaped beak and beautiful markings.
The New Zealand shoveler Anas rhynchotis variegata, also known as kuruwhengi, is a subspecies endemic to New Zealand. It belongs to the Anatidae family and Anseriformes order of swans, geese and ducks. The male shoveler is New Zealand’s most handsome duck, with variegated plumage, blue-grey head with a white vertical stripe between the eye and bill, a striking reddish-brown breast, and blue wings. Nature has lavished more beauty on the male than the less attractive female. The female is more plainly embellished with cryptic brown similar to female mallards and grey ducks. This may be nature’s way of providing camouflage when she is nesting.
As a migrant from Australia, the New Zealand shoveler is a subspecies of the Australasian shoveler A. rhynchotis which occupies a large range. It does not approach the IUCN Red List threshold of population size, so it is listed as ‘least concern’. The other subspecies, the Australasian shovelerAnas rhynchotis rhynchotis, occurs in the southeastern and southwestern regions of mainland Australia, and in Tasmania.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Nov. 19th 2010
New Zealand Southland Queenspark