The Northern Shoveler isn’t just your average duck. He’s a bit two-faced.
Depending on the angle of the sun and the way it hits the duck’s face, his head will appear to be either black or a magnificent shade of dark green. I spotted this one, and his less colorful mate, at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge earlier this month.
But why is this bird called a Shoveler and not, say, a Black-Green Duck? AllAboutBirds.org explains, “The aptly named Northern Shoveler has a shovel-shaped bill that quickly sets it apart from other dabbling ducks. It is a medium-sized duck that tends to sit with its rear a bit higher out of the water almost like its bill is pulling its front half down”