Select map overlays Admin Regions Bird Conservation Regions Blocks Coordinates Ecoprovinces Cities and Roads
Northern Shoveler, Tania Simpson
Photo © Tania Simpson

Photo: Tania Simpson
Breeding evidence - Northern Shoveler
Breeding evidence
Probability of observation - Northern Shoveler
Probability of observation
Elevation plot - Northern Shoveler
Elevation plot

Click for a larger version or to add map overlays

Northern Shoveler
Anas clypeata
Landscape associations:

Click on plot to view table of mean abundance
Elevation range:
0 - 1089 m
Conserv. status:
Not at risk
Global importance
of B.C. population:
Number of squares
ConfirmedProbablePossiblePoint counts
39 103 87 18
Long-term BBS trends
RegionYearsTrend (conf. interv.) Reliab.
Brit. Col.1970 - 2012 -0.412 (-5.85 - 4.88)Low
Canada1970 - 2012 2.04 (0.507 - 3.56)High

Mean abundance by region

Bird Conservation Regions [plot]
NW Interior ForestBoreal Taiga PlainsGreat BasinNorthern RockiesN. Pacific Rainforest
0.220.03 0.960.09 0.12
Ecoprovinces [plot]
N. Boreal Mountains Taiga Plains Boreal Plains Georgia Depression Sub-Boreal Interior
0.22  0.030.12  
S. Interior Mountains Central Interior Southern Interior S. Alaska Mountains Coast & Mountains
0.020.49 0.17   

Mean abundance by habitat [plot]

Boreal Altai Fescue AlpineBoreal White and Black SpruceBunchgrassCoastal Douglas-fir
 0.03 0.12
Coastal Mountain-heather AlpineCoastal Western HemlockEngelmann Spruce -- Subalpine FirInterior Cedar -- Hemlock
Interior Douglas-firInterior Mountain-heather AlpineMontane SpruceMountain Hemlock
Ponderosa PineSpruce -- Willow -- BirchSub-Boreal Pine -- SpruceSub-Boreal Spruce

Characteristics and Range This medium-sized dabbling duck is easily recognized with its elongate, spatulate bill, ideally suited for straining small swimming crustaceans from the water. The Northern Shoveler breeds across much of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Nearctic, it breeds throughout much of western North America and locally to the Maritimes, and winters over large areas of North and Central America and the Caribbean (Dubowy 1996). In the Palearctic, it breeds across northern Eurasia and winters from its breeding range south to Africa and south-east Asia.

Distribution, Abundance, and Habitat The Northern Shoveler breeds at scattered sites in the southern Georgia Depression Ecoprovince, the central-southern interior and the Peace River lowlands. The Atlas surveys recorded a breeding distribution similar to that in The Birds of British Columbia published in 1990, but Bunnell et al. (2013) report significant range shifts northward in the British Columbia interior from the 1960s to the 1990s.

The highest mean Probabilities of Observation were found in the Boreal Plains Ecoprovince, followed by the Central Interior and Southern Interior ecoprovinces. The densest cluster of breeding records, however, was found along the middle Fraser River and adjacent Fraser Plateau in the Central Interior Ecoprovince, and in the Thompson Valley in the Southern Interior Ecoprovince. Too few data were collected on point counts to draw any conclusions on abundance; randomized point counts generally don't sample the wetland habitats of the Northern Shoveler very well.

The Northern Shoveler prefers margins of open, shallow and muddy wetlands with abundant submergent vegetation and nearby grasslands or rangelands for nesting.

Conservation and Recommendations There are no overall conservation concerns for this species. Continued monitoring will help clarify the degree to which it is expanding its range in the province.

Art Martell

Recommended citation: Martell, A. 2015. Northern Shoveler in Davidson, P.J.A., R.J. Cannings, A.R. Couturier, D. Lepage, and C.M. Di Corrado (eds.). The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of British Columbia, 2008-2012. Bird Studies Canada. Delta, B.C. [14 Jun 2024]

Birds Canada Privacy Policy | Accessibility Policy
British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas, Birds Canada, 5421 Robertson Road Delta, BC V4K 3N2 Canada
Phone: 1-877-592-8527 E-mail:
Banner photo: Glenn Bartley