Ruddy shelduck

(Tadorna ferruginea)


Ruddy shelduck IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The ruddy shelduck is a medium-sized shelduck group with a body-weight of about 1.2 to 1.6 kg in males and 1 to 1.5 kg in females.

The plumage is beautifully buff and cinnamon coloured with a glossy green speculum. The head is lighter than the body, and males usually have a narrow black collar. Bill, legs and feet are black.

Ruddy shelducks usually swim with their head erect but with the front part of the body riding very low in the water and the posterior part held high. They are, however, very terrestrial and are often found some distanmce from water. They may perch on rocks and even in trees

The ruddy shelduck nests in cavities. 8-12 cream coloured eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female alone for 27-29 days.

Ruddy shelducks are omnivorous nocturnal feeders, which will also readily resort to feeding on garbage.

Did you know?
that the ruddy shelduck, while declining in its Eastern European range, is considered an invasive species in Western Europe? In Switzerland, for instance, the first record of (escaped!)ruddy shelducks breeding in the wild dates from 1963. In 2004, on the Klingnau Dam alone 420 ruddy shelducks were counted. As the species is very aggressive towards other waterfowl, measures are taken to stabilise or reduce this extralimital wild population.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Tadorna ferruginea
Name (English) Ruddy shelduck
Name (French) Tadorne casarca
Name (German) Rostgans
Name (Spanish) Tarro canelo
Local names Czech: Husice rezavá
Danish Norwegian: Rustand
Estonian: Tulipart
Finnish: Ruostesorsa
Greek: Kastanóchina
Hindi: Chakwa-chakwi, Surkhab
Hungarian: Vörös ásólúd
Italian: Casarca
polish: Kasarka
Slovakian: Kazarka hrdzavá
Swedish: rostand
Turkish: Angyt
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA INVASIVE SPECIES!



Photo Copyright by
Adrian Pingstone



Range Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Dem., Korea, Rep., Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen Europe: Originally in the east only, but has expanded mainly due to escaped birds. Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, former Yug. Rep., Moldova, Netherlands. Romania, Russian Fed., Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine Vagrants in many other, mainly European countries.
Habitat Freshwater wetlands, grasslands.
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 170,000 to 220,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 701 reported to ISIS (2006).

In the Zoo

Ruddy shelduck


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
J. M. Garg

Why do zoos keep this animal

The ruddy shelduck is an attractively coloured duck species, which is kept primarily for educational purposes, either to show a native species or a species with a highly invasive potential.