A common and widespread duck in the northern hemisphere, the Northern Shoveler is migrant with almost all populations in North America wintering in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. While wintering in the tropics, this species may congregate huge in mixed-species flocks of several thousand individuals on marshes, lakes, and estuaries. The bill is slightly longer than the head and spatulate, giving the species its common name. Like other dabbling ducks, the Northern Shoveler feeds from the surface of the water by head-dipping and upending, rarely making shallow dives in search of algae or plankton. Recent global population estimates have numbered this species at nearly four million individuals.