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Bird name:

Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Marshes, Ponds, Reservoirs

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Thought to pair for life

Egg Colour:

Smooth, slightly glossy and creamy to white.

Number of Eggs:

6 - 12

Incubation Days:

27 - 29

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Some plant material lined with feathers and down.

Nest Location:

Nest in hole or cavity, from ground level upward into trees and cliffs.




Ruddy Shelduck: Large duck with yellow-brown head and neck. Black bill, legs, feet, tail, and neck band. Rest of the body is red-brown. Wings have black flight feathers and white shoulders and wing linings. Dark, black-green patch in secondaries. Direct flight with strong wingbeats. Adult female like male but has white on face, lacks black neck band, is slightly paler overall, and has pale brown edging to feathers on back. Juvenile like adult female but is light olive-grey on head and back.

Range and Habitat

Ruddy Shelduck: Uncommon passage visitor in the UK. When found in the UK, most liikely to be seen on the east coast of England. Prefers flooded fields and marshes, streams or slow-flowing rivers, freshwater ponds, and brackish lakes in lowland regions.

Breeding and Nesting

Ruddy Shelduck: Nests in pairs or loose groups, beginning in April. Monogamous pair-bond probably lasts for life. Nests are shallow depressions or burrows in sand or earth. May also nest in hollow trees, crevices in rocks, and abandoned buildings. Female incubates eggs; both parents tend young.

Foraging and Feeding

Ruddy Shelduck: is omnivorous, diving and swimming along bottom of marshes, lakes and ponds feeding on aquatic insect and crustaceans. Also eats aquadic plant materials such as seeds and roots.


Ruddy Shelduck: A nasal "aakh" or "ah-onk," also a repeated, trumpet-like "pok-pok-pok-pok."

Similar Species

Ruddy Shelduck: Egyptian Goose is slightly larger, with a longer neck, large eye patch, and dirty white underparts. Shelduck has a green-black head, orange bill, white breast with a rufous breast band, white upperparts, and orange legs and feet.

The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Flight feathers that are attached to the wing in the area similar to the human forearm and between the body and the primaries.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX