HANZAB is a bit big for your hand luggage so I've opened mine on your
Anas rhyncotis, Australasian Shoveler - "Food obtained by dabbling in mud
or at surface where lamellae on on fringe of spatulate bill used to filter
food from water.........Small flocks often feed in V-formation, those in
front disturbing food that those behind catch."
No great encouragement there but intriguingly under Social Organisation a
"Flocks often pack closely , birds swimming in circles or moving across
area tail-to-tail, constantly filter feeding.."
Perhaps moving tail-to-tail helps to cancel out the Coriolis effect.
> From: Eric Hocking <>
> To: Birding-Aus <>
> Subject: Shoveler Feeding question.
> Date: Tuesday, 28 July 1998 17:43
> I apologise if this post seems a little trivial to some here, but I'm
> currently out of the country and the only books I have are field guides
> the UK and the US.
> I believe that Steve is seriously asking this question and I have to
> in having complete ignorance in the feeding habits of Shovelers.
> Here's his post in it's entirety from rec.birds. Steve's posting from
> > High-Cuisine is a Matter of Taste:
> > Although it's Summer, that garden-spot of the duck world,
> > our local sewage lagoon, has plenty of Shovelers in attendance.
> > Located at a community college in the countryside, the many
> > tiny life-forms in this fertile water make up the bulk of this
> > species' diet. Their large bills have efficient strainers to
> > separate out this mixture of microscopic plant and animal life.
> This is the interesting point:
> > They have a special trick to bring their food to the surface.
> > Two or more Shovelers will swim clockwise in tight circles,
> > with their bills busily working the water. The swimming action
> > causes the water to well up from below, bringing more food
> > within reach. I've seen as many as 30 of these ducks having
> > a real feeding-frenzy in one big circle. There is a very
> > precise protocol for entering and leaving the circle, without
> > disrupting the continuity. The one question that is burning
> > in my mind: Do the Shovelers in the Southern Hemisphere swim
> > counter-clockwise?
> OK, I know he's referring to an extremely prevalent misconception about
> water draining in opposite directions in the two hemispheres, and may in
> fact be trolling me, but;
> > Perhaps Eric Hocking or some other resident
> > of Oz can answer this.
> Any takers? Amongst the triviality of it all, *I'd* be interested in the
> feeding habits of the Australian bird.
> Eric Hocking
> "A closed mouth gathers no feet"
> == Melbourne, Australia ==