Monday, 20 April 2015

Day 168 - Resplendent Ruddy Shelducks

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Fairburn
Hey everyone, Day 168 and whilst I was at Fairburn Ings at the weekend I saw quite a few interesting things. I saw a lovely Willow Warbler in the very top of a willow tree singing it's lovely song. My Orange Tip Butterfly in yesterdays post was another lovely sighting.

The best, most unusual sighting though was amongst a group of Shelducks. In the middle of them was a lovely rusty coloured bird. Looking through some binoculars I could see it was a bird that I had seen before - it was a Ruddy Shelduck. I recognised it as they were a lovely bird I saw when visited Washington Wetlands Centre.

Pair of Ruddy Shelducks at the
Washington Wetlands Centre
So seeing it at the weekend gave me good reason to look it up and do a post. Here's a few facts I found:

  • They have an average length of 64cm (25 inches) and they have an average wingspan of 123cm (48 inches).
  • They are of least concern as they breed quite a lot in other countries. They are not native to Britain.
  • Since the 1950's, there has only been around 100 records! Weirdly, though, there HAS been 1 or 2 breeding pairs in some years!
The males have a black ring around their neck
  • In some countries, like Tibet and Mongolia, the Ruddy Shelduck is considered sacred by Buddhists.
  • Their scientific name name has celtic roots, Tadorna means 'Pied Waterfowl' just like the British Shelduck.
  • While they inhabit a variety of habitats they prefer inland fresh water, you won't find them in coastal waters.
  • They look really placid but can actually be quite aggressive. They also have a call described as a wild loud honking.
  • From what I've read this bird is probably an escaped bird or a feral bird as the European population has declined and visitors from their main breeding areas of Asia are less likely.
Well, a lovely bird but not very common in the UK. I didn't find lots of information out there on them but here's a couple of links to some sites:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. These are such lovely ducks, I love their reddish hue! - Tasha