Probably our most handsome duck, the New Zealand Shoveler is one of the least commonly seen and also least known. This is because he prefers quieter, backcountry lakes and waterways to the city ponds. Smart in appearance, and smart in nature, the Shovelers are the first to head for the seashore in duck hunting season, where they seek sanctuary on the open ocean. Still many are shot every year, however. Named "shoveler" for its bill, this is a dabbling duck that unlike its counterparts does not graze. Instead it uses fine filters in its bill to sieve riverwater and strain out tasty invertebrates and their larvae. I have seen thesein Christchurch, in Travis Swamp.