Ruddy Shelduck

Ruddy Shelduck    Tadrona ferruginea


  • Tadorna : French name Tadorne for the Common Shelduck
  • Ferruginea : Latin word for “rusty-coloured”

Vernacular Names: Sind: Mungh, Laalo, Kwancha, Kathium, Hindi: Chakwa(M), Chakwi(F), Laal surkhab,Sukharb Battak, Sans: Chakrawak, Pun: Surkhab, Ben: Chakaa-chaki, Ass: Ramkong, Chakoi-chakoua, Guj: Brahmani batak, Surkhab, Bhagui surkhab, Mar: Sarza, Charawak, Ori: Chakwa-chakoi, Kesar pandia, Panda hansa, Ta: Thara, Te: Bapana chiluwa, Mal: Thankath-thaaraavu, Chakravakam, Sinh: Loku seruva

Distribution in India: Wide spread winter visitor in India and Breeds in Himalayas.

Description: Size of 61–71 cm; wt. of male 1200–1640 g, female 925–1500 g; wingspan of 121–145 cm. 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 coloring 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. The juvenile is duller with white upperwing-coverts and scapulars are tinged sooty; it has greyish head and browner back

Habitat: It is found in diversity of waterbodies of brackish nature, including salt lakes and crater lakes. It is found from Sea level to 5000 m.

Food Habits:It eats grasses, leaves, seeds and stems of plants and sedges, grain, rice, shoots and vegetables; terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, small fish and amphibians. It feeds by grazing and plucking items on dry land . It also dabbles, swims and upends in deeper water.

Breeding Habits: They breed from April –May in Himalayas. The nest is situated in a hole or cavity on ground sometimes excavated by other animal like a Rabbit, on cliff ledge, or in tree, in old Long-legged Buzzard nest, even sometimes in buildings. The nest is lined with feathers and down, occasionally some grass. They lay a clutch of 8–9 eggs. The incubation period is 28–29 days commencing with final egg. Incubation done by female alone guarded by male. The chicks are Precocial, fledging in 55 days, and thereafter families may often remain together.