Tadorna tadorna - Common Shelduck

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Passeriformes - Family: Anatidae


This handsome duck, with its scarlet bill and pink legs, is easily recognised. You will find it on the estuary mud flats and sandy shores of Wales throughout the year.

Shelducks nest in burrows, usually taking over one made by rabbits and therefore quite some distance from the water's edge.

Shelduck at Slimbridge, UK

These large ducks lay between six and twelve eggs, and in summer the young ducklings can be seen waddling along behind their parents on the perilous trek between nest and shore.

A Shelduck's diet is very varied. As well as sand-worms, shellfish and crustaceans, they also eat many kinds of seaweed.


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Ray Tipper.

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