The ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), known in India as the Brahminy duck, is a member of the family Anatidae. It is a distinctive waterfowl, 58 to 70 cm (23 to 28 in) in length with a wingspan of 110 to 135 cm (43 to 53 in). It has orange-brown body plumage with a paler head, while the tail and the flight feathers in the wings are black, contrasting with the white wing-coverts. It is a migratory bird, wintering in the Indian subcontinent and breeding in southeastern Europe and central Asia, though there are small resident populations in North Africa. It has a loud honking call.
The ruddy shelduck mostly inhabits inland water-bodies such as lakes, reservoirs and rivers. The male and female form a lasting pair bond and the nest may be well away from water, in a crevice or hole in a cliff, tree or similar site. A clutch of about eight eggs is laid and is incubated solely by the female for about four weeks. The young are cared for by both parents and fledge about eight weeks after hatching.
In central and eastern Asia, populations are steady or rising, but in Europe they are generally in decline. Altogether, the birds have a wide range and large total population, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed their conservation status as being of "least concern".
|Pair of ruddy shelducks|
The ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) is a member of the shelduck genus Tadorna; in the wildfowl family Anatidae. The bird was first described in 1764 by the German zoologist and botanist Peter Simon Pallas who named it Anas ferruginea, but later it was transferred to the genus Tadorna with the other shelducks. Some authorities place it in the genus Casarca along with the South African shelduck (T. cana), the Australian shelduck (T. tadornoides) and the Paradise shelduck (T. variegata). Phylogenetic analysis shows that it is most closely related to the South African shelduck. In captivity, the ruddy shelduck has been known to hybridise with several other members of Tadorna, with several members of the dabbling duck genus Anas, and with the Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca). No subspecies are recognised.
The genus name Tadorna comes from the French "tadorne", the common shelduck, and may originally derive from a Celtic word meaning "pied waterfowl". The English name "sheld duck" dates from around 1700 and means the same. The species name ferruginea is Latin for "rusty" and refers to the colour of the plumage.
The ruddy shelduck grows to a length of 58 to 70 cm (23 to 28 in) and has a 110–135 cm (43–53 in) wingspan. 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 colouring 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. Juveniles are similar to the female but are a darker shade of brown.
The call is a series of loud, nasal honking notes, it being possible to discern the difference between those produced by the male and the female. The calls are made both on the ground and in the air, and the sounds are variable according to the circumstances in which they are uttered.
There are very small resident populations of this species in north west Africa and Ethiopia, but the main breeding area of the bird is from southeast Europe across central Asia to Lake Baikal, Mongolia, and western China. Eastern populations are mostly migratory, wintering in the Indian subcontinent. This species has colonised the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, first breeding there in 1994, and reaching a population of almost fifty pairs by 2008. The ruddy shelduck is a common winter visitor in India where it arrives by October and departs by April. Its typical breeding habitat is large wetlands and rivers with mud flats and shingle banks, and it is found in large numbers on lakes and reservoirs. It breeds in high altitude lakes and swamps in Jammu and Kashmir. Outside the breeding season it prefers lowland streams, sluggish rivers, ponds, flooded grassland, marshes and brackish lagoons.
Although becoming quite rare in southeast Europe and southern Spain, the ruddy shelduck is still common across much of its Asian range. It may be this population which gives rise to vagrants as far west as Iceland, Great Britain and Ireland. However, since the European population is declining, it is likely that most occurrences in western Europe in recent decades are escapes or feral birds. Although this bird is observed in the wild from time to time in eastern North America, no evidence has been found that this is a genuine case of vagrancy. Feral ruddy shelduck have bred successfully in several European countries. In Switzerland the ruddy shelduck is considered an invasive species that threatens to displace native birds. Despite actions taken to reduce numbers, the population of ruddy shelduck in Switzerland increased from 211 to 1250 individuals in the period from 2006 to 2016.
This shelduck mostly frequents open locations on inland bodies of water such as lakes, reservoirs and rivers. It is seldom seen in forested areas but does occur in brackish water and saline lagoons. Though more common in the lowlands, it also inhabits higher altitudes and in central Asia is one of the few waterbirds, along with the bar-headed goose (Anser indicus), to be found on lakes at 5,000 m (16,400 ft).
The ruddy shelduck is a mainly nocturnal bird. It is omnivorous and feeds on grasses, the young shoots of plants, grain and water plants as well as both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. On land it grazes on the foliage, in the water it dabbles in the shallows, and at greater depths, it up-ends, but it does not dive.
The ruddy shelduck is usually found in pairs or small groups and rarely forms large flocks. However, moulting and wintering gatherings on chosen lakes or slow rivers can be very large. Gatherings of over four thousand birds have been recorded on the Koshi Barrage and in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, and over ten thousand at Lake Gölü in Turkey.
The birds arrive at their main breeding locations in central Asia in March and April. There is a strong pair bond between the male and female and it is thought they pair for life. In their breeding quarters, the birds are very aggressive towards their own kind and towards other species. The female in particular approaches intruders with head lowered and neck outstretched, uttering anger calls. If the intruder stands its ground, the female returns to the male and runs round him, inciting him to attack. He may or may not do so. Mating takes place on the water after a brief courtship ritual involving neck stretching, head dipping and tail raising. The nesting site is often far away from water in a hole in a tree or ruined building, a crevice in a cliff, among sand-dunes or in an animal burrow. The nest is constructed by the female using feathers and down and some grasses.
A clutch of about eight eggs (range six to twelve) is laid between late April and early June. These have a dull gloss and are creamy-white, averaging 68 by 47 mm (2.68 by 1.85 in). Incubation is done by the female while the male stands in attendance nearby. The eggs hatch after about twenty-eight days and both parents care for the young, which fledge in a further fifty-five days. After breeding the adults moult, losing the power of flight for about a month while they do so. Before moulting they move to large water bodies where they can more easily avoid predation while they are flightless. The family may stay together as a group for some time; the autumn migration starts around September and the young may mature in their second year. North African birds breed about five weeks earlier, and their breeding success is greater in wet summers.
Buddhists regard the ruddy shelduck as sacred and this gives the birds some protection in central and eastern Asia, where the population is thought to be steady or even rising. The Pembo Black-necked Crane Reserve in Tibet is an important wintering area for ruddy ducks, and here they receive protection. In Europe on the other hand, populations are generally declining as wetlands are drained and the birds are hunted. However, they are less vulnerable than some other waterfowl because of their adaptability to new habitats such as reservoirs.
The ruddy shelduck has a very wide range and an estimated total population size of 170,000 to 225,000 individuals. The overall population trend is unclear as some local populations are increasing while others are decreasing. The bird does not appear to meet the higher criteria necessary to be considered threatened, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature assesses that its conservation status is of "least concern". It is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
Ganga Lake (Mongolian: Ганга нуур) is a saltwater lake located in Dariganga sum, Sükhbaatar Province, Mongolia. The lake lies on the transition zone between the southern steppes and the Gobi desert, giving it a unique landscape of lakes, steppes, and sand dunes. The lake and its wetlands (of which the total area is 32.8 km²) is an important breeding and resting area for endangered migratory birds, including the great crested grebe, the whooper swan, and the ruddy shelduck.
Due to ongoing climate change, the lake area is shrinking.Neighboring lakes include Duut Lake, Sumtiin Lake, Erdene Lake, Kholboo Lake, Züün Kholboo Lake, Tsagaan Lake, Khoshmogt Lake, Red Lake (dried up), and Zegst Lake.
The lake and its surrounding wetlands was designated a Ramsar site in 2004.Keith Vinicombe
Keith E. Vinicombe is a British ornithologist and writer on bird identification.
Vinicombe is best known for his first book, the Macmillan Field Guide to Bird Identification. Subsequent publications include Rare Birds in Britain and Ireland - a photographic record, co-authored with David Cottridge, in which Keith set out to explain theories about bird vagrancy in Britain and western Europe, including reverse migration. He is identification consultant to Birdwatch magazine, and has written extensively on bird identification in Birdwatch, and other British journals, including Birding World and British Birds.
He has served on both the British Birds Rarities Committee and the British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee. His regular birding patch is Chew Valley Lake, where he has found numerous rare birds. Elsewhere in Avon, he is responsible for finding nine county firsts. Elsewhere in Britain, his finds include Britain's second ring-billed gull and the first lesser scaup and Blyth's reed warbler for the Isles of Scilly. He was also among the observers who confirmed the identification of Britain's only lesser short-toed lark, at Portland Bill in 1992.
Vinicombe has also studied the status of vagrant wildfowl in Britain and northwest Europe, in particular that of ruddy shelduck and white-headed duck. A paper on the former species (co-authored with Andrew Harrop) was published in British Birds in 1999.Vinicombe and the bird artist Laurel Tucker were personal and professional partners for a period during the 1980s, until Tucker's death in 1986.Khenifiss National Park
Khenifiss National Park (French: Le Parc National Khenifiss) is a national park in the southwest of Morocco, located near Akhfenir on the Atlantic coast in the region of Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra. It was established in 2006. The area of the park is 1,850 square kilometres (710 sq mi). The national park was created to protect desert, wetlands, and coastal dunes.The park was first created as a natural reserve in 1960, and in 1980, it was classified as a wetland of international importance. In 1983, the natural reserve was transformed into a Permanent Biological Reserve, and on September 26, 2006, the national park was created.The park is located at the coast of Atlantic Ocean, north of the border with Western Sahara, between the towns of Tan-Tan (north) and Tarfaya (south). The National Route 1, which runs along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, passes through the park.
The park includes a coastal portion, the Khenfiss lagoon, the biggest lagoon at the Moroccan coast, and the inland portion, located on desert plateaus. The lagoon is also an important bird nesting ground. Ruddy shelduck, marbled duck, and Audouin's gull inhabit the lagoon permanently, and a big number of species migrate here in winter. Every year, about 20,000 birds stay in the lagoon area in the winter season.The inland part includes sabkhas and is typical for Sahara landscapes. It also includes sand dunes and limestone plateaus.
The government declared its intention to turn the park into a major tourist attraction specializing in ecotourism.Lake Aguelmame Sidi Ali
Aguelmame Sidi Ali is a lake in Khénifra Province, Béni Mellal-Khénifra, Morocco. Located at an altitude of 2,080 metres, Aguelmame Sidi Ali has a surface area of approximately 500 hectares (1,200 acres) and a depth of 36 m (118 ft). It is near the boundary of the province of Ifrane within the Middle Atlas mountains. It is part of Khenifra National Park, a 842 km2 (325 sq mi) protected area created in 2008.Lake Haçlı
Lake Haçlı (also known as Lake Bulanık) is a fresh-water lake in Turkey. The lake is to the south of Bulanık ilçe (district) of Muş Province at about 39°01′N 42°18′E. Its distance to Bulanık is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi).
It is situated on a high plateau of 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) Its area is about 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi) and its maximum depth is 7 metres (23 ft). The area and the depth don't fluctuate between summer and winter. The lake is fed by Şeyhkorum Creek and some smaller creeks.Lake Kuyucuk
Lake Kuyucuk (Turkish: Kuyucuk Gölü) is a small shallow lake located in Arpaçay district of Kars Province in the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. It has an area of 245 ha (2.45 km2) and a maximum depth at 13 m (43 ft). The lake area is an internationally recognized Ramsar site, important for its ornithofauna, and a tourist wildlife reserve.Merja Zerga
Merja Zerga or Lagune de Moulay Bou Selham is a tidal lagoon on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, 70 km north of the city of Kenitra. Classified as a Permanent Biological Reserve in 1978, it is managed by several government agencies.The lagoon, which covers 4,500 hectares, receives water from the Oued Drader and from the local water table. Its average depth is 1.5 metres. The area's annual rainfall (600–700 mm) results in winter floods that inundate the surrounding areas.
A Ramsar Convention site, the lagoon hosts 100 bird species and has been identified as a key site on the East Atlantic Flyway. Between 15,000 and 30,000 ducks overwinter at the lagoon, and it regularly holds 50,000 to 100,000 waders. Its permanent species include Asio capensis. Winter visitors include ruddy shelduck, common shelduck, gadwall, Eurasian wigeon, northern shoveler, marbled teal, greater flamingo, common coot, pied avocet, grey plover, and slender-billed curlew.Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, consisting primarily of a 120.82-square-kilometre (46.65 sq mi) lake and ambient marshes, is situated about 64 km to the west of Ahmedabad near Sanand Village, in the Gujarat state of India. Mainly inhabited by migratory birds in winter and spring, it is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat, and one of the largest in India. It was declared a bird sanctuary in April 1969.The lake attracts over 210 species of birds in the winter, and harbors a variety of plants and animals. Besides a few mammalian species including the endangered wild ass and the black buck, its migratory bird population includes rosy pelicans, flamingoes, white storks, brahminy ducks and herons. Thousands of migratory waterfowl flock to this sanctuary just after the Indian monsoon season. The shallow area and ponds on the outer fringes of the lake attract the wading birds that feed in the shallow waters. Millions of birds visit the bird sanctuary in winter and spring. It harbors over 250 species of wetland birds. Winter migrants from the north including purple moorhen, pelicans, lesser flamingos and greater flamingos, white storks, four species of bitterns, crakes, grebes, brahminy ducks(Ruddy shelduck) and herons visit Nal Sarovar. Between November and February, the lake is home to vast flocks of indigenous and migratory birds. Ducks, geese, pelicans and flamingos are best seen early in the morning and in the evening and the sanctuary is best visited as a day excursion by personal vehicle, taxi, as buses are infrequent and there is no convenient accommodation. Vehicles are available from parking to the lake site which is approx 1 km.Hours for visiting the lake are 6 am to 5:30 pm. There is an entry fee per visitor and camera, however for boating one needs to negotiate with the local boatmen, though prescribed rates are mentioned at the gate. The best time to reach there is just before sunrise as the lake is calm and quiet and flock of birds waiting for their regular food. The water in the lake is about 4 feet deep. Visitors can take a horse ride with a number of horses at the lakeside.Migrating Aamin bhai shepherds populate the islands of the lake and on the banks are the Padhars, who are folk dancers, artisans and boatmen. One can hire country boats on the lake for bird viewing, and picnic at shacks the on the islands.Neor Lake
Neor Lake (Persian: دریاچه نِئور , Azerbaijani: نوئور گؤلو) is a shallow lake located in a hilly area south of the Iranian, talysh Province of guilan in the Baghru mountain range in North West Iran. This lake was formed due to two fault zones during the Eocene period.Pakistan Crane Center, Lakki Marwat
Crane Conservation Center and Wildlife Park, Lakki Marwat is a conservation center for the captive breeding of various types of wild birds and animal species. It is located west of Kurram River in Lakki Marwat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, 250 kilometres (155 mi) south of Peshawar. It was established in 2007. The center is equipped with a total of 15 circular aviaries and 20 cages as well as an education block for visitors. The center is now maintained and operated by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department through the Bannu Wildlife Division, Bannu while its establishment was funded by WWF - Pakistan, GEF, UNDP and Darwin Initiative. A "Range Officer" of the wildlife department manages and co-ordinates the activities of the park. A wildlife vet, Dr. Adnan Khan , frequently visits the center in order to maintain healthy stock.
Lakki marwat is a seasonal migratory route for the cranes. Many residents in nearby towns and villages keep a number of cranes in captivity. These cranes are captured from the wild using stone-weighted ropes tossed up into flocks attracted to live decoys. The programme also aims to teach the advanced breeding methods to these breeders as part of conservation of endangered species of common crane. The total area of the park is 150 kanals.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department has established a Crane Conservation Centre and Wildlife park in Bannu Wildlife division. The site fulfills the following major objectives:
To rehabilitate endangered species under semi natural conditions.
To protect indigenous plants, birds and animals species.
To develop a gene pool of endangered wildlife species.
To raise the socio economic condition of the local people by promoting eco-tourism and providing job opportunities.
To create awareness amongst the local community especially the school students and general public.The following species of birds and animals are present in the park.
Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera)
Indian Blue spp
Black Shoulder spp
Purple neck sppCranes
Black crowned crane
Grey crowned craneDucks and geese
Northern pintailFlamigoes (Phoenicopterus)
Urial (Ovis vignei)
Hog deerPatna Bird Sanctuary
Patna Bird Sanctuary is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh's Etah district encompassing a lentic lake that is an important wintering ground for migrating birds. It was founded in 1991 and covers an area of 1.09 km2 (0.42 sq mi). With a lake area of only 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi), it is the smallest bird sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.
The water quality of the lake supports a wide range of avifauna during winter season. The entire lake area gets covered by profuse growth of macrophytic vegetation of water hyacinth and Potamogeton species during summers.
About 200,000 birds of 300 different bird species frequent the sanctuary. More than 106 species of migratory and resident birds are known to have their resting habitats around the lake. The important aquatic birds inhabiting lake are:
Indian spot-billed duck
Plain leaf warbler
Scaly-breasted muniaSamaspur Sanctuary
Samaspur Sanctuary is situated near Salon in Rae Bareli district. It lies at about 122 km from Lucknow on Lucknow-Varanasi highway. It was established in 1987 on about 780 hectares of land. Nearest railway station is Unchahar and the nearest airport is Fursatganj, Raebareli. The best time to visit the place is between November to March. More than 250 varieties of birds can be seen here. Some of the birds come here from a distance of more than 5000 km, including Greylag Goose, Pintail, Common Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Shelduck (Surkhab) etc. Local birds include Knob-billed Duck, Lesser Whistling-duck, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Eurasian Spoon-bill, Kingfishers, Vultures etc. Twelve varieties of fish are there in the lake at Samaspur.Shelduck
The shelducks, most species of which are found in the genus Tadorna (except for the Radjah shelduck, which is now found in its own monotypic genus Radjah), are a group of large birds in the Tadorninae subfamily of the Anatidae, the biological family that includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl such as the geese and swans.Sirpur Lake
Sirpur Lake is located on Indore-Dhar Road in Indore. The total area of the lake and its surrounding protected region is 800 acres (around 3.6 square kilometers) and falls under the jurisdiction of the Indore Municipal Corporation.T. ferruginea
T. ferruginea may refer to:
Tadorna ferruginea, the ruddy shelduck, a bird species
Trypeta ferruginea, a fruit fly speciesTadorninae
The Tadorninae is the shelduck-sheldgoose subfamily of the Anatidae, the biological family that includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl such as the geese and swans.
This group is largely tropical or Southern Hemisphere in distribution, with only two species, the common shelduck and the ruddy shelduck breeding in northern temperate regions, though the crested shelduck (presumed extinct) was also a northern species.
Most of these species have a distinctive plumage, but there is no pattern as to whether the sexes are alike, even within a single genus.Taudaha Lake
Taudaha Lake is a small lake in the outskirts of Kathmandu, in Nepal. The name comes from a combination of Newari words 'Ta', meaning snake and 'Daha', which means lake.Thanedar Wala
Thanedar Wala is a game reserve and wetland Ramsar site, located 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Lakki, Lakki Marwat District (formerly in Bannu District), North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Most of the area consists of a complex of braided river channels and sandy or muddy islands up to 4 km (2.5 mi) wide. The site covers 4,047 ha (10,000 acres). It supports wintering great egret, ruddy shelduck, common teal, mallard, northern shoveller, common pochard and ferruginous duck. Collared pratincole and little tern breed on the reserve.Thanedar Wala was designated a Ramsar site on July 23, 1976. A monitoring mission in May 1990 recommended that it be retained on the Ramsar List.