Bronx Cheer

Thursday, January 7, 2021,

This is a male Northern Shoveler duck I encountered at Frank Melville Park in Setauket. Now, I can’t be certain but it sure looks like he’s giving me a Bronx Cheer. Or, depending on where you live, he might be blowing me a Raspberry. Or maybe, just maybe, he’s just using that magnificent bill to sieve out small invertebrates and seeds from the pond water. It’s hard to say.

I can’t imagine what I did or said to elicit this response. Perhaps he’s aware of my work as a photographer and is less than impressed. I’d rather believe that he just wants to be left alone and that I should be on my way. JK




An Energetic Shoveler

Tuesday, January 22, 2019,

This is a series of photos I took of a male Northern Shoveler stretching his wings or maybe just shedding some excess water. Or both, I don’t really know.

What I can tell you is that these are one of the most specialized ducks that visit Long Island. I’m not sure that you can see it in these pics, but Norther Shovelers have a very unique bill that they use as a sieve to filter out seeds and aquatic invertebrates from the water. They usually go around with half of their head submerged as they sweep that extra wide bill from side to side in search of dinner. It really is an amazing adaptation.


A Most Unusual Duck

Sunday, November 13, 2016,


This rather odd looking duck with the ginormous bill is called a Northern Shoveler. It gets its name from that spectacular beak. That bill works as a sieve to filter plants, seeds, and small crustaceans from the water. That’s a pretty cool adaptation.

I took this pic yesterday during a Four Harbors Audubon walk at Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket. It’s a great park. There are many species that overwinter here. Lots of ducks that we don’t get to see during the summer. You might want to check it out. JK