Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)


The Ruddy Shelduck gets its name from its rusty red coloured plumage. The head is a little paler. In flight, one can see the bright shoulders on both sides of the wing.The Ruddy Shelduck reaches a length of 60 cm and a wingspan up to 130 cm. Males and females look almost identical.The Ruddy Shelduck is usually found in pairs or small groups, and rarely form large flocks.

Habitat and diet

The Ruddy Shelduck lives near lakes and lagoons, but prefer salty water. While swimming or dabbling Ruddy Shelducks feed off grasses and water plants, but also small worms, snails and mussels. Ruddy Shelducks breed in burrows in trees or on the ground.

Protection status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. 

Interesting Facts

Buddhists regard the Ruddy Shelduck as sacred, giving the birds some protection in Central and Eastern Asia.

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