Northern Shovelers Courtship Ritual (Video)

On my last trip to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, I took this video of Northern Shovelers doing a courtship ritual.  I wouldn’t call it a dance.. It was more like a ritual feeding where they swam in circles with their beaks underwater.  Northern Shovelers are dabbling ducks with wide bills.  Their coloration reminds me of Mallards, but their spoon shaped bills is a big difference.

I just did some research and watched a few other videos, and apparently this really is part of their dance.  These birds are common all across the United States.  Here’s a video that someone took of them in Central Park, New York:

And this video from Whalon Lake has really good footage of the male’s display with wing flaps:

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