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Common Shelduck

Common Shelduck

Common Shelduck
Larger version
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Sub-family: Tadorninae
Genus: Tadorna
Species: tadorna
Binomial name
Tadorna tadorna
The Common Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna is a shelduck, a group of large goose-like birds which are part of the bird family Anatidae, which also includes the swans, geese and ducks. The Anatidae article should be referred to for an overview of this group of birds.

This is a bird which breeds in temperate Eurasia. Most populations migrate to subtropical areas in winter, but this species is largely resident in westernmost Europe, apart from movements to favoured moulting grounds, such as the Wadden Sea on the north German coast.

These moulting flocks can be very large (100,000 on the Wadden Sea), since most pairs leave their partially grown young in a crèche with just one or two adults.

This species is mainly associated with lakes and rivers in open country, breeding in rabbit burrows, tree holes, haystacks or similar. In winter it is common on suitable estuaries and tidal mudflats as well.

This is a striking bird with its white and chestnut body, green head and neck and red bill. Sexes are similar, but the female is duller. The male has a swollen red bill knob in the breeding season. The call is a loud honk.



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