Chenoa Waterfowl
Waterfowl Sustainability through Education,
Accumulation, Propagation, and Dissemination
Waterfowl of Chenoa:
The Facility
Waterfowl Sales
Waterfowl Education
Chenoa Sales and Shipping
Information
Ducks of the World
Chenoa Price and Availability
Duck List
Shelducks of the World
Chenoa Price and Availability
Shelduck List
True Geese of the World:
The Anser Species
Chenoa Price and Availability
True Goose List
True Geese of the World:
The Branta Species
Fowl Ideas for the Aviculturist
Includes Material Lists and Construction Plans

Shelducks of the World

Shelducks belong to the sub family Tadorninae and are primarily restricted to the Old World. They are often described as being intermediate between true geese and ducks. When compared to the other side of the family, they are probably more aquatic and more colorful than the larger sheldgeese.

Female shelducks are prone to quack much like the more familiar Mallard, while males offer honks or whistles. Males and females are colored much the same. In many cases the female is distinguished by white in small to large patches on the head. Both sexes have metallic green secondaries and white forewings. In addition to vegetation, they eat snails, mussels, frogs, earthworms, and insects.

They form reasonably strong pair bonds and display vigorously to one another as well as to other pairs, particularly during the breeding season. Both sexes are aggressive and the females play a role in defending the territory. Females tend to incite males to fight which often leads to one male attacking another who appears to be a potential rival. This is no doubt an integral part of pair formation. The nests are usually made in a hole in a tree, a rock, or in captivity in a nesting aid such as a wooden box with a hole in the side. Additional information can be found in the "More Information" sections associated with each of the species or from the sources in the reference list at the bottom of this web page.

The species of shelducks featured on this site were residents of Waterfowl of Chenoa when photographed unless otherwise noted. By clicking on the common name of a shelduck in the table below you will be taken immediately to the photograph of that shelduck and to information related to it. To make a leisurely pass through the web page, scroll below the species list to the Australian shelduck to start the excursion.

Shelduck

Species/Sub Species

Scientific Name

Tadorna Australian Tadorna tadornoides

Cape or South African Tadorna cana

Common or European Tadorna tadorna

Crested Tadorna cristata

Paradise or New Zealand Tadorna variegata

Radjah Tadorna radjah radjah

Ruddy Tadorna ferruginea

Australian Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna tadornoides

AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCKS

Look For Male has black head white ring separating black neck from chestnut breast; female is duller than male and has a white patch around the eye and a white ring around the bill
Nesting Area Southwestern and southeastern Australia
Wintering Area Not Applicable
Nest Site Nests are usually in tree holes, but in treeless areas rabbit holes are utilized, and occasionally ground nesting occurs in well-wooded areas, in captivity ground boxes or upright boxes are selected
Initial Nest During spring-summer of second year
When Middle of June through September in the nesting area
Clutch Size 10 to 14 eggs
Incubation Approximately 30 to 35 days

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Cape Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna cana

CAPE SHELDUCKS

Look For Medium size burnt orange; male with distinct gray head; female gray head with white Lone Ranger mask
Nesting Area Southern tip of South Africa
Wintering Area Not Applicable
Nest Site Holes, in captivity ground boxes or upright boxes are selected
Initial Nest During spring-summer of second year
When July or August until November in the nesting area, May until July at Chenoa
Clutch Size 6 to 15 eggs
Incubation Approximately 30 days

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Common Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna tadorna

COMMON SHELDUCKS

Look For Male has head and upper neck of black, lower neck and upper chest of white, lower chest of chestnut, and bright red bill with a knob; female slightly duller, smaller, and without knob on bill
Nesting Area British Isles, northern France, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, etc.; Western European populations are sedentary
Wintering Area South to Spain, the Mediterranean, north Africa, Iran, northern India, southern China, and Japan
Nest Site Nests on the ground or in a used rabbit burrow, occasionally tree holes are used, in captivity ground boxes or upright boxes are selected
Initial Nest During spring-summer of second year
When From early May onwards in the nesting area
Clutch Size 7 to 12 eggs
Incubation Approximately 28 to 30 days

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Crested Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna cristata

CRESTED SHELDUCKS
Photo courtesy of Natural History of the Waterfowl by Frank S. Todd

The Crested Shelducks are unique among the Shelducks.
While most Shelducks are very common in their territories, the Crested Shelducks
are now represented by a very small population or it is possible that they are extinct.

Look For Male is black on the crown of the head, nape, breast, upper tail coverts, tail, and primaries while the rest of the head is brownish black; females have a small white eye-ring, and the head and neck are also white except for the crown stripe and crest, most of the rest of the body is dark brown with narrow white lines
Nesting Area Slim chance of survival in areas such as the border areas of USSR, China, and North Korea where they may nest in forested, mountainous districts by flowing rivers and streams
Wintering Area Lower down the rivers of the border areas of USSR, China, and North Korea towards coastal districts and occasionally to Japan
Nest Site Unknown
Initial Nest Unknown
When Unknown
Clutch Size Unknown
Incubation Unknown

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Paradise Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna variegata

PARADISE SHELDUCKS

Look For Male is mostly black and is similar to Australian male in color but lacks the chestnut breast; female has head and neck of pure white and body is rich chestnut
Nesting Area New Zealand, but rare in the north
Wintering Area Not Applicable
Nest Site Nests on the ground in the vegetation or in a burrow
Initial Nest During spring-summer of second year
When Middle of June to late September in the nesting area
Clutch Size 5 to 11 eggs
Incubation Approximately 30 days

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Radjah Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna radjah radjah

RADJAH SHELDUCKS

Look For Both sexes are of similar plumage and appear as white birds with black mantle, narrow breast band, back, rump, and tail with flesh pink bill
Nesting Area Moluccas, Aru Islands, and New Guinea
Wintering Area Not Applicable
Nest Site Nests are in the hollow limbs of trees, no nest material is used except for some down, in captivity ground boxes or upright boxes are selected
Initial Nest During spring-summer of second year
When February and July in nesting area
Clutch Size 6 to 12 eggs
Incubation Approximately 30 days

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Ruddy Shelducks
Scientific Name: Tadorna ferruginea

RUDDY SHELDUCKS

Look For Medium size, light orange; male with cream head; female cream head with white Lone Ranger mask
Nesting Area North Africa, and central Asia
Wintering Area Central Africa, India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea
Nest Site Holes, in captivity ground boxes or upright boxes are selected
Initial Nest During spring-summer of second year
When March until May in the nesting area, May until July at Chenoa
Clutch Size 8 to 12 eggs, but may be as many as 16
Incubation Approximately 28 days

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Please See The Other

Waterfowl Of Chenoa Links:


Ducks of the World

True Geese of the World:
The Anser Species

True Geese of the World:
The Branta Species

REFERENCES FOR SHELDUCKS

Johnsgard, Paul. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press. 1978.

Madge and Burn. Waterfowl: An Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1988.

Patterson, I. J. The Shelduck: A Study in Behavioral Ecology.Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1982.

Soothill and Whitehead. Wildfowl of the World. Dorset, Great Britain: Blandford Press. 1978.

Todd, Frank S. Handbook of Waterfowl Identification. Vista, California: Ibis Publishing Company, 1997.

Todd, Frank S. Natural History of the Waterfowl. Vista, California: Ibis Publishing Company, 1997.

Todd, Frank S. Waterfowl: Ducks, Geese and Swans of the World. San Diego, California: Sea World Press, 1979.

Weller, Milton W. The Island Waterfowl. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1980.



Contact Information

Maurice Houston Field
Curator, Chenoa Waterfowl

mfield@charter.net


Waterfowl of Chenoa: The Facility



2008 Maurice Houston Field Links to this site are encouraged and do not require permission in advance of linking, however notification of linking is appreciated.

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Last Updated
Tuesday, 21-Apr-2009 12:32:04 CDT




Since 04/02/08

This page was placed in service initially 12/20/95 on www.utm.edu.