Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Red Shoveler (Spatula platalea)


French: Canard spatule German: Fuchslöffelente Spanish: Cuchara argentino

Anas platalea


, 1816,



Normally placed in genus Anas. Monotypic.


S South America from Tierra del Fuego N to C Chile, most of Argentina, Bolivia, S Peru, Uruguay and S Brazil.

Descriptive notes

45–56 cm; c. 467–686 g. Breeding male has pale buff head stippled black over head, especially crown, with near-white chin and throat, body rufescent cinnamon with... read more


Few data for wild birds and only rather quiet calls noted; male gives low rattle or sputtering... read more


Large coastal lagoons, lakes and estuaries of fresh or, preferably, brackish waters, especially... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds and other parts of aquatic plants and aquatic invertebrates mainly of planktonic size (e.g. worms, insects, larvae, molluscs and tiny... read more


Starts Sept/Oct; laying dates 15 Sept–30 Oct in C Chile. Fairly gregarious during breeding season, but no information on breeding... read more


Partially migratory; southernmost breeding birds disperse northwards to winter as far N as S Peru,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common and widespread, with overall population estimate in early 2000s of 100,000–1,000,000 birds. Large numbers stage... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Red Shoveler (Spatula platalea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 November 2019).