Common Shelduck

The Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) is a shelduck which breeds in temperate Eurasia. Most populations migrate to subtropical areas in winter, but this species is mostly resident in the westernmost parts of Europe, apart from movements to favored molting grounds, such as the Wadden Sea on the north German coast.

These molting flocks can be very large (100,000 on the Wadden Sea), since most pairs leave their partially grown young in a crèche with just one or two adults.

This species is mainly associated with lakes and rivers in open country, breeding in rabbit burrows, tree holes, or hay stacks. In winter it is commonly found in suitable estuaries and tidal mudflats as well.

This is a outstanding bird with its white and chestnut body, green head and neck and red bill. Sexes are similar, but the female is duller. The male has a swollen red bill knob in the breeding season. The call is a loud honk.

The Common Shelduck is common around the coastline of Great Britain (where it is simply known as Shelduck), where it frequents salt marshes and estuaries.