Ruddy Shelduck/Tadorna ferruginea

Ruddy Shelduck/Tadorna ferruginea - Photographer: Frank Schulkes
Ruddy Shelduck/Tadorna ferruginea - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Ruddy Shelduck/Tadorna ferruginea - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Ruddy Shelduck/Tadorna ferruginea - Photographer: Plamen Dimitrov

L 58-70 cm, WS 110-135 cm. Breeds in variety of inland habitats: shores of lakes, saltmarshes, rivers, in hills and even on mountainsides, at times far from nearest water. Nests in hole in cliff, bank, tree or ruin. Largely migratory. Often seen flying at considerable height. W European records mainly involve escapes from captivity, but influxes of wild birds sometimes occur (e.g. 1994).
IDENTIFICATION: Roughly the same size as Shelduck (marginally larger), and similar proportions, with fairly long neck and legs, long and rather narrow wings. Body bright orange-brown, head paler cinnamon-buff or creamy-white, especially pale on forehead and ‘face’. Rump, tail and flightfeathers black, partly with greenish gloss. Forewing (upper and under) pure white. Bill black. - Adult male: Narrow black neck-collar. Slightly darker orange-brown on mantle and breast. - Adult female: No neck-collar. Tendency to have more clearly set-off white ‘face-mask’. - Juvenile: Resembles female, but has grey wash on white of forewing.
VOICE: Typical is strongly nasal, honking quality. In flight, loud trumpeting ‘ang’ and disyllabic ‘ah-üng’ (latter recalling Canada Goose, and - more valid considering range - distant donkey). Hollow, rolling ‘ahrrrr’ also heard.

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