Overview and Meaning
Shoveling is a form of nesting behavior that typically occurs toward the beginning of the nesting behavior sequence.
The animal will plunge its nose into the bedding material and burrow under covering itself in the material, however, scraping with the forepaws of the bedding material is not observed, as it is in digging. The animal will then resurface and may shake to remove the substrate.
Nesting behavior occurs in the contexts of, reproduction, and environmental changes.
This behavior resembles burrowing. In wild populations burrowing is part of the nesting behavior sequence. Much like digging shoveling may be viewed as a stereotypy in a laboratory setting.