Ruddy Shelducks

aka Brahminy Ducks (India)

Tadorna ferruginea

"The Baroness" (on the left) and "The Red Baron" (he's full-winged), my pair of Ruddy Shelducks

Although becoming quite rare in southeast Europe and southern Spain, the Ruddy Shelduck is still common across much of its range throughout southern Eurasia and southeast China. It is usually found in pairs or small groups and rarely forms large flocks. In Tibet and Mongolia it is considered sacred by the Buddhists.

In breeding season there is a black ring at the bottom of the neck of the male, and the head of the female is much whiter than that of the male. They are hole nesters and you should provide some form of burrow for their breeding, any kind of box reached through a short tunnel. They lay 8-10 creamy white eggs and incubation lasts 30 days.

In captivity the species is generally aggressive and antisocial and is best housed in pairs unless you have a very large area. Then it may mix OK with other species, although it will still be feisty at breeding time. Their calls are quite loud and I really like the "wild" sound of them.


Ruddy Shelduck Links:

Here's a page on Ruddy Shelducks

Jan's Ornamental Waterfowl


A Ruddy Shelduck female

Another Ruddy female
Photo courtesy of David Townsend

"The Red Baron"

Another shot of my pair


Hybrids

A Ruddy Shelduck X Mallard hybrid
Photo courtesy of Dirk Fussbahn


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