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SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadorna)

©Nigel Key Shelduck (Slimbridge May 2017)

The Common Shelduck is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae and is classed as a Shelduck.

The Shelduck used to be called the Sheldrake and is still sometimes used to refer to male Shelduck and can also occasionally refer to the Canvasback.

The Shelduck is semi-terrestrial and spend moretime out of the water than most other ducks.

   Hear the Shelduck's Call:-
Conservation Status

500mm to 600mm (20" to 23")

Appearance - Male
The male has a dark Green head and neck, Red bill and Knob, White breast, with a Brown band round the breast and mantle. The back and belly is White, the wings are White with Black primary feathers and the legs and feet are Pink.

Appearance - Female
The female is similar to the male except duller and slightly smaller and lacks the knob on the bill.

Brackish Marshes and Estuaries.

Molluscs, Crustaceans, Algae, Grasses, Roots and Seeds.

Breeding Time

The nest is built in sand dunes, Rabbit burrows, or rough ground near the sea.

Quantity: 7 to 12
Average size: 66mm x 48mm. Colour: Creamy White.

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Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge May 2016) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge May 2017) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT November Slimbridge 2017) - pic by Nigel Key
04/05/16 26/05/17 30/11/17
Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge May 2014) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge June 2015) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge June 2015) - pic by Nigel Key
17/05/14 30/06/15 30/06/15
Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge 2011) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge 2011) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge July 2013) - pic by Nigel Key
25/03/11 09/04/11 26/07/13
Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge June 2009) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge June 2010) - pic by Nigel Key Shelduck (WWT Slimbridge June 2010) - pic by Nigel Key
03/06/09 04/06/10 04/06/10
Photos copyright of ©Nigel Key
Click for larger image

Related Links:-

Australian Shelduck -

Common Shelduck -

Radjah Shelduck -

Ruddy Shelduck -

South African Shelduck -

Shelduck Identification -

You can help to protect wetland habitats in the UK and around the World by becoming a member of the WWT, visit official WWT site for details.


Breeding Habitat
Coastal areas of the British Isles, Northern France, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Scandanavia, through the Balkans, across Southern China and Japan.
Winter Habitat or Migration Area
Winter to Northern India, Southern China and Japan.

WWT Slimbridge Location - Shelduck
Tundra Zone - WWT Slimbridge
© Nigel Key Tundra Zone (WWT Slimbridge May 2015)

The Shelduck can be found in the Tundra Zone, along with the following wildfowl:-
Barnacle Goose
Bean Goose
Bewick's Swan
Greater Scaup
Tundra Zone (WWT Slimbridge)

WWT Slimbridge Wildfowl (Listed Alphabetically)
A-B  | C-F  | G-L  | M-R  | S-Z
Wildfowl S to Z
Snow Goose
South African Shelduck
Southern Pochard
South Georgian Pintail
Spot-Billed Duck
Spotted Whistling Duck
Spur-Winged Goose
Swan Goose
Trumpeter Swan
Tufted Duck
Wandering Whistling Duck
West Indian Whistling Duck
Whistling Swan
White-Cheeked Pintail
White-Faced Whistling Duck
White-Fronted Goose
White-Backed Duck
White-Headed Duck
White-Winged Duck
Yellow-Billed Duck