Game Bird Hunting

The Northern shoveler's specialized bill has earned it in the nickname "spoonbill" among waterfowl hunters.

Features: The other "greenhead", the drake is handsome with a dark iridescent green head, white breast, reddish belly, blue wing patch of coverts, and an iridescent green speculum. Brown hens also have blue wing patches similar to that of the cinnamon and blue-wing teal.

Habitat: This dabbling duck prefers lakes and ponds where it uses its unique bill to sift through water in shallow areas. Food choices include the seeds of sedges, bulrushes and other aquatic plants, duck weed, and algae; also aquatic insects, mollusks and crustaceans. Common winter species in the Willamette Valley and Columbia Basin, but widespread throughout the state.

Techniques: Part of a mixed duck bag, these ducks respond well to decoys. They can be fine table fare despite a bad reputation with many hunters. Particularly tasty are ducks wintering on Lake Abert in southeast Oregon where their diet is brine shrimp and flies.