SHELDUCK IDENTIFICATION
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   There are five different species of Shelduck found at WWT Slimbridge: -
   Click thumbnails to enlarge
Australian Shelduck (Slimbridge 08/09/12) Common Shelduck (Slimbridge 25/03/11) Ruddy Shelduck (Slimbridge 03/06/09)
Australian Shelduck
Common Shelduck
Radjah Shelduck
Ruddy Shelduck (Slimbridge 24/03/12) Shelduck (Slimbridge 15/08/11)
Ruddy Shelduck
South African Shelduck
   To aid identification we shall compare various significant parts of the Shelduck: -
   The Head, Bill and Eyes
   Click thumbnails to enlarge
Australian Shelduck Common Shelduck Radjah Shelduck Ruddy Shelduck South African Shelduck
Australian
Shelduck
Common
Shelduck
Radjah
Shelduck
Ruddy
Shelduck
South African
Shelduck
   The Breast and Body
   Click thumbnails to enlarge
Australian Shelduck Common Shelduck Ruddy Shelduck Ruddy Shelduck South African Shelduck
Australian
Shelduck
Common
Shelduck
Radjah
Shelduck
Ruddy
Shelduck
South African
Shelduck
   The Tail
   Click thumbnails to enlarge
Australian Shelduck Common Shelduck Radjah Shelduck Ruddy Shelduck South African Shelduck
Australian
Shelduck
Common
Shelduck
Radjah
Shelduck
Ruddy
Shelduck
South African
Shelduck
   Identification Overview
   Australian Shelduck.
   A very dark Green head, Chestnut coloured breast, a White neck collar, dark Blackish body, Black
   primaries and Green secondaries. It has a Grey bill and Grey legs and feet.
   Common Shelduck.
   A dark Green head and neck, Red bill and Knob, White breast, with a Brown band round the breast
   and mantle. The back and belly is White, the wings are White with Black primary feathers and the legs
   and feet are Pink.
   Radjah Shelduck.
   White plumage with metallic Green on top of their wings, dark wing tips and a ‘collar’ around the breast.
   The back and tail is Brown Black, the eyes are a striking White, the bill is light Pink and the legs and feet
   are also Pink.
   Ruddy Shelduck.
   Orange Brown plumage with a lighter face and crown with a Black collar around the neck just above the
   breast. The rump and tail are Black and the wings are White with Black flight feathers. The bill is Black and
   the legs and feet are also Black.
   South African Shelduck.
   A Grey head and upper neck, a Black bill, a Buff lower neck and breast. The body is Chestnut Brown with
   Black with White and Green wings. The legs and feet are dark Grey.
   Now that we have identified the Shelducks, where can we find them at WWT Slimbridge?
   They can be found in the following zones: -
   Australian Shelduck. - Found in the Australia Zone.
   Common Shelduck. - Found in the Tundra Zone.
   Radjah Shelduck. - Found in the Australia Zone.
   Ruddy Shelduck. - Found in the Asia Zone.
   South African Shelduck. - Found in the Flamingo Lagoon.
   Did You Know?
     The Australian Shelduck is the largest duck in Australia.
     Shelducks nest in tree hollows, old animal burrows and cavities.
     Shelduck young are kept in 'nursery waters' where thay are looked after by other adult shelducks.
     Ruddy Shelducks are considered sacred by Buddhists because their colour resembles the robes
       worn by monks.