[Tweeters] Ridgefield Interesting Shoveler
slcarpenter at gmail.com
Sat Dec 6 20:53:13 PST 2008
Thank you, Dennis, for your thoughtful comments. It appears I may have
jumped the gun on the guess of Blue-winged Teal genes.
I did not realize that Northern Shovelers could have white facial crescents
as extensive as the one I saw, especially when they have fully green heads.
Unfortunately, I have never seen in person (or even an illustration or photo
of) a Northern Shoveler with such a bold white facial crescent and a fully
green head. The facial crescent on the bird I saw is consistent with photos
I'm finding online for Australian Shoveler. I'm not suggesting this bird is
an Australian Shoveler, though -- just using that as a reference.
Some things to keep in mind about the bird at Ridgefield:
- It is about the same size as nearby Cinnamon Teal. I believe Northern
Shovelers should be about 17-18% bigger than Cinnamon Teal.
- It has a reddish breast
- Its bill appears to be smaller than the bills of nearby Northern
Shovelers, and seems to be slightly larger than the bills of nearby Cinnamon
Teal (although it is somewhat hard to discern at the distances from which I
have observed it)
- It has a white hip patch, but the hip patch appears to have a slight
- Its head is green like a Northern Shoveler, with a yellow eye like a
- all of my observations are based on views through a scope at ~ 30-60x,
which leaves a lot to be desired, so it is possible my impressions are not
entirely accurate, due to errors in judgement of size, inability to discern
fine plumage details, etc.
So perhaps this bird is just an aberrant Northern Shoveler, or a Northern
Shoveler x Cinnamon Teal.
The original photos I took of this bird are online at:
When I saw the bird again on Decemberr 4, the color of the breast appeared
much darker than what appears in the photos above. Through my scope at
about 40x, the breast of the bird was indistinguishable from the nearby
Cinnamon Teal. It was a much brighter day, though, with direct sunlight on
the bird. The photos were taken under overcast conditions.
On Fri, Dec 5, 2008 at 1:30 PM, Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net>wrote:
> Scott and all,
> Do you know that immature male Northern Shovelers at this time of year can
> have a white facial crescent? Usually the breast shows a fair amount of
> white in such birds, however, and there is a white flank patch. Also, male
> Australian Shovelers have a mostly reddish body and a distinct facial
> crescent. Seems unlikely it would be that species, although they are kept by
> waterfowl fanciers. Of course, both would have the honkin' big bill of a
> shoveler, and I don't recall whether the bill on this bird was shoveler size
> or teal size.
> Otherwise, it's hard to see how you would combine characters of all three
> species, unless it has genes from all of them. Sounds like the only
> Blue-winged mark is the face crescent, and I would suggest that that might
> not indicate Blue-winged genes, as the mark occurs in shovelers.
> On Dec 5, 2008, at 12:02 PM, tweeters-request at mailman2.u.washington.eduwrote:
> Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 16:26:44 -0800
> From: "Scott Carpenter" <slcarpenter at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Tweeters] Clark County: Swainson's Hawk, Hybrid
> Once again, the hybrid NORTHERN SHOVELER X BLUE-WINGED TEAL was at the
> S Unit of Ridgefield NWR. I found it with my scope from the south end of
> Rest Lake. When its head was tucked in, it was extremely hard to
> distinguish from nearby Cinnamon Teal -- the breast and flanks appeared
> almost identical. Fortunately, it popped its head out twice in the 30 or
> minutes I was scanning for it, and the crescent on the face was very
> obvious, even at a distance. This bird is very interesting in that it has
> red breast that matches its flanks, and the color is like a Cinnamon Teal,
> green head with a yellow eye that matches a Northern Shoveler, and a face
> crescent that matches a Blue-winged Teal.
> Scott Carpenter
> Portland, Oregon
> Dennis Paulson
> 1724 NE 98 St.
> Seattle, WA 98115
> dennispaulson at comcast.net
> Tweeters mailing list
> Tweeters at u.washington.edu
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