Common Shelducks

aka European Shelducks

Tadorna tadorna

A Common Shelduck drake
Photo courtesy of Vasudha Donnelly

This attractive bird is found in many areas of Europe and in scattered populations across much of Asia. Both sexes have similar plumage, but the females have white mottling around the base of the bill. The bill of the male is a bright waxy red in breeding season, with a distinct knob at the base; that of the female is duller and lacks the knob. They are also vocally distinct: males have a low whistling cry while females produce a rapid chattering "gag-ag-ag-ag-ag" call.

They breed in holes in trees or banks of waterways. The average clutch is 7-10 eggs and incubation takes 28 days. The drake will assist in raising the brood.


European Shelduck Links:

Future Visions Farms has Common Shels for sale

European Shelducks at Squaw Creek


Common Shelducks swimming

A nine-month-old European Shelduck
Photo courtesy of Carol Kelly

A male Common Shelduck

One of my drakes dabbling
Photo courtesy of Anahy Antara

Another pair
Photo courtesy of Daniel Sörensen

A juvenile Common Shelduck male
Photo courtesy of Pat Watson


Common Shelduck ducklings
Photo courtesy of Amy Aviss


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