Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy Shelduck also called Brahminy Shelduck found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat. (Please wait for a few seconds while the photos load onto the gallery. This may depend on your internet speed)

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Scientific Name : Tadorna ferruginea
Classification :
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum   : Chordata
Class        : Aves
Order       : Anseriformes
Family     : Anatidae
Genus      : Tadorna
Species    : T. ferruginea

How to identify this bird:

  • The Ruddy Shelduck is a large duck which is orange-brown in colour.
  • As you can see in the photo gallery above the head and neck are pale and it sometimes has a faint narrow black collar at the base.
  • It grows to a length of 58 to 70 cm It has a 110–135 cm (43–53 in) wingspan.
  • The male has orange-brown body plumage and a paler, orange-brown head and neck, separated from the body by a narrow black collar.
  • The rump, flight feathers, tail-coverts and tail feathers are black and there are iridescent green speculum feathers on the inner surfaces of the wings.
  • Both upper and lower wing-coverts are white, this feature being particularly noticeable in flight but hardly visible when the bird is at rest.
  • The bill is black and the legs are dark grey.
  • The female is similar but has a rather pale, whitish head and neck and lacks the black collar, and in both sexes, the colouring is variable and fades as the feathers age.
  • The birds moult at the end of the breeding season and the male loses the black collar, but a further partial moult between December and April restores it.
  • Juveniles are similar to the female but are a darker shade of brown.
  • The call is a series of loud, nasal honking notes, it being possible to discern the difference between those produced by the male and the female.
  • The calls are made both on the ground and in the air, and the sounds are variable according to the circumstances in which they are uttered.

Where do I find these birds:

  • The Ruddy Shelduck is a migratory bird found in winter near DPS Tapi in water near reed beds and sand banks from November-December onwards until the winter ends.
  • The ruddy shelduck is usually found in pairs or small groups and rarely forms large flocks.
  • It is omnivorous and feeds on grasses, the young shoots of plants, grain and water plants as well as both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.
  • On land it grazes on the foliage, in the water it dabbles in the shallows, and at greater depths, it up-ends, but it does not dive.
  • There is a strong pair bond between the male and female and it is thought they pair for life.
  • In their breeding quarters, the birds are very aggressive towards their own kind and towards other species.
  • The female in particular approaches intruders with head lowered and neck outstretched, uttering anger calls.
  • The nesting site is often far away from water in a hole in a tree or ruined building, a crevice in a cliff, among sand-dunes or in an animal burrow.

Local Names:

Hindi        : Lal,Chakwa,Surkhab
Bengali     : Chaka-chaki
Assamese : Chakoi-chakoua , Ramkaon
Marathi    : Chakrawak, Sarza
Telugu      : Bapana chiluwa