Saturday, February 21

Common shelduck

   ›      ›   Common shelduck - Tadorna tadorna.

The common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) belongs to the family Anatidae. The common shelduck is distributed in Europe and Asia, including Mediterranean countries, Iran, Afghanistan and China. These shelduck winter in Africa, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and South China. They are infrequent visitors to the U.S. and Canada. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these shelduck species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

These shelduck are medium sized and the males are larger than the females. The male bird may measure 55 to 65 cm in length and weigh 800 to 1,500 grams. The females weigh 500 to 1250 grams. They have a wingspan of 110 to 130 cm. These birds have reddish pink bill and pink feet. The body is white and the belly is black. The body has chestnut patches. The head and neck are blackish green. The breeding male carries a prominent reddish knob on the forehead.

These shelduck species inhabit lakes, rivers, tidal mudflats and estuaries. They mostly feed on fish, molluscs, insects and crustaceans. The Common shelduck breed during April and May. They are monogamous and nest in burrows, tree holes and haystacks.

Indian birds - Common shelduck - Tadorna tadorna
Indian birds - Common shelduck - Tadorna tadorna

Biological classification of Tadorna tadorna
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Subfamily:Tadorninae
Genus:Tadorna
Species:T. tadorna
Binomial name:Tadorna tadorna
Distribution:Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa;
Feeding habits:fish, molluscs, insects, crustaceans;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Common_Shelduck_(Tadorna_tadorna)_at_Sylvan_Heights.jpg
Author: DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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