Juvenile Male Northern Shovelers: First of Season

I wasn’t expecting much from Sunset Bay this Tuesday–birders are hoping that the next cold front will bring lots of new pelicans, but everything is fairly static for now. There were eleven pelicans hanging out on the far-away logs. Two of them swam in closer to the bay to hunt and bathe but never got close to the dock.

A trio of juvenile blue-winged teals were hanging out on a branch sticking out of the water, and two mallards were dawdling near them. One of the birds turned toward me, and I noticed that it had a seriously fucked-up beak.

Oh wait. Not a mallard. A northern shoveler!

Juvenile male northern shoveler duck (Anas clypeata) at White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX

“What have you done to his beak?”

At the time I wasn’t sure whether the birds were adult females, juvenile females, or juvenile males, but now I think they are juvenile males.

Two juvenile male northern shoveler ducks (Anas clypeata) swimming at White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX

Bad-ass boys looking for trouble.

They traveled back and forth within a small area until they finally settled down to sleep.

Juvenile male northern shoveler ducks (Anas clypeata) at White Rock Lake in Dallas, TX

“Look upon my wing, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Suddenly a bunch of ducks and coots ran into the lake from the shore, and the shovelers woke up again and resumed swimming. I, too, continued on my travels.