The ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) belongs to the family Anatidae. The ruddy shelduck is distributed in Europe, Asia, Indian Subcontinent and a few pockets in Africa. These ducks are migratory birds. They winter in the Indian Subcontinent, South India and Southeast Asia. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these shelduck species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".
These shelducks are fairly large birds, the males being larger than the females. The male shelduck measures, 60 to 70 cm in length and weighs 1,200 to 1,600 grams. The female bird weighs 900 to 1,500 grams. They have a wingspan of 120 to 145 cm. The plumage is orange brown and the head is paler. The wings are white with black flight feathers. In breeding season the males have a black ring at the base of the neck. The female bird has white patch on the face.
The Ruddy shelducks inhabit large wetlands, salt lakes, crater lakes, rivers with mud flats and shingle banks. They feed on roots, shoots, buds, grasses, leaves, seeds and stems. They breed on cliffs, in burrows, tree holes or crevices. The breeding season is between April and June. The female Ruddy shelduck lays 5 to 15 eggs.
|Indian birds - Ruddy shelduck - Tadorna ferruginea|
Image source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A_couple_of_Tadorna_ferruginea.jpg
Author: Michael Gäbler | License: CC BY 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Ruddy shelduck - Tadorna ferruginea.