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Northern Shoveler

The Baylands in Palo Alto have such a variety of birds.  Just look at this picture!

There are avocets, teals, and today’s feature: the Northern Shoveler.  Shovelers are very easy to identify because of their giant shovel-shaped beaks.  The male is on the right and the female is on the left.  Although the females have brown feathers like other female ducks, they can be distinguished by their large orange beaks.

They are easily frightened by the presence of humans, so I only got a few good pictures.  They are pretty common in the Bay Area during winter and prefer to hang out in any water bodies with muddy bottoms and vegetation.

The best pictures of the shovelers came from a tiny pond in the middle of grass fields.  Tonight I leave you with a pretty picture of what I believe is a cattail.  (If someone else knows better please feel free to correct me)

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