The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Shoveler

Afrikaans name: Kaapse Slopeend

Cape Shoveler

Cape Shoveler

Photo © Steven Herbert

Anas smithii

Is it a Cape Shoveler or a Cape Shoveller? It has had a slight change in the spelling of its name as it used to be the Cape Shoveller. This species is found in many parts of South Africa as well as our northern neighbours.

The distinguishing feature of this duck is the shovel (spatula) shaped bill. They reach a length of just over 50 cm. They plumage is generally brownish with a scalloped appearance. Their legs are orange. Male and female are fairly similar, but the female has a darker head and eye. There are also differences in the colouration of the wings when in flight.

The Cape Shoveler is found in wetlands, marshes and dams. It prefers marshy areas. Their main food is plant material, but they do eat some insects during the breeding season. The female builds a nest on the ground a week or so before she lays her eggs. Up to 13 eggs have been recorded in a clutch. Incubation of the eggs is solely the job of the female. She takes time off to go and feed once or twice a day. The female feeds the chicks while the duty of the male is deterring predators.

References and further reading

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 39

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 44

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 33

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 35

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 7

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 78

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 76

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 92

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 91

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 66

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 60

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 47

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 92

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 92

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 68

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 12

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 42

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 48

Gamebirds and Waterfowl of Southern Africa - Author: CG Finch-Davies, Dr Alan Kemp - Published: 1986 - Page: 63

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 36

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 37

A coloured Key to the Wildfowl of the World - Author: Peter Scott - Published: 1957 - Page: 56

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 52

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 169

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 37

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 56

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 169

BirdLife South Africa


Top

List of South African Birds

Got a comment about the content on this page?





This website features affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2023. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use