More
    Categories

    Common Shelduck

    Related Articles

    Overview

    The shelducks are a group of larger, often semi-terrestrial waterfowl, which can be seen as intermediate between geese and ducks. Some are so large that they are called geese. The Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) is the most familiar gooselike duck, boldly patterned in black, white and chestnut, the male carrying a conspicuous knob on his bright red bill in spring.

    Diet

    The Common shelduck feeds mainly on the tiny snails that swarm on mudflats in river estuaries. It also feeds on other invertebrates, including worms, shellfish, crabs, shrimps, sandhoppers and larvae of flies. Small fish and plant material are also eaten. They swim high in the water and up-ends to reach submerged food. It also wades, sweeping its bill from side to side to sift food out of the mud. In-flight, it looks heavy, with slow wingbeats. Like several other duck species, it nests in burrows or tree hollows, leading its young to water as soon as they are able to make the journey.

    Calls

    Common shelducks are quite vocal, especially just before and after breeding season. They utter a variety of whistling notes, most often being soft, clear whee-chew, becoming urgent and frequent if danger threatens. Ducklings utter high-pitched peeps, when moving and feeding, and soft trills when in close contact.

    Distribution

    Common shelducks are widespread around coasts of north-west Europe, in the northern Mediterranean, and from the Black Sea east through Central Asia to Mongolia and western and northern China. These birds do not migrate to breed, but after breeding, most of the population of northwestern Europe migrate to Waddenzee of the Netherlands. Here, they are relatively safe from predators, which is important, because at this time of the year, they molt and replace all of their flight feathers. During molt adults look whiter and less well-marked.

    Video Credits: Birdfun
    Image Credits: Hobbyfotowiki

    Reference:

    1. Janet Kear – Ducks, Geese And Swans
    2. Jason A. Mobley – Birds Of The World
    3. Tim Cleeves, Peter Holden – RSPB Handbook Of British Birds

    Categories

    Other Topics

    Proliferative Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

    What Is Proliferative Colitis? Proliferative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) is an intestinal disorder of a variety of domestic...

    Cat Disease Signs

    There are several tell-tale signs that a cat is ill. An enlarged abdomen, for example, is often perceived as a weight gain....

    Rasbora

    Overview Rasboras are a companion group of slimmer Cyprinids which offer a little extra in the way of color to...

    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

    Overview The nuthatches are the only birds that habitually climb down tree trunks headfirst, gathering insects and insect...

    Hovawart

    History & Overview The Hovawart is an ancient German working dog breed. The name's origin stems from Middle...