Cape Shelducks

a. k. a. South African Shelduck

Tadorna cana

A pair of Cape Shelducks, female in the front
Photo courtesy of Danny Bulach

Cape Shelducks are, kind of obviously, native to South Africa, where they prefer lakes and rivers in open country.

The female has white patches on her face, usually fairly large as in the female pictured, but sometimes limited to an eye ring.

Pairs tend to stay together throughout the year, although in the wild population females outnumber males about 2:1. In captivity Cape Shelducks are very pugnacious and should not be kept with other ducks, only with larger species such as swans.

Like many Shelducks, they usually nest in holes in the ground, but occasionally in holes in trees. The 8-10 dull white eggs take 30 days to hatch.


Cape Shelducks on the water
Photo courtesy of Danny Bulach

Another view
Photo courtesy of Danny Bulach

You can see in this image the pinioned right wing on the male
Photo courtesy of Danny Bulach


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