Australian Shelduck

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Australian Shelduck

Tadorna tadornoides


Breeds June-November. Often found in very large flocks. These disperse during late winter and monogamous pairs form and establish territories. Nests are built in tree hollows and occasionally down rabbit holes. Only the female incubates the eggs. Clutch size is between 5 and 14 and incubation is between 30 and 35 days.


Details Description
Type
Bird
Group
Duck
Other Common Names
Chestnut-breasted Shelduck, Mountain Duck
Identifying Characteristics

Large, brightly coloured duck with a small head and bill. The male has a head and neck that is black tinged with green with a white neck ring. Upper parts of the body are mainly black while the underparts are dark brown with a cinnamon breast. This species has a white shoulder patch, black and chestnut wings with a green speculum. Females have a white eye ring and a white ring around the bill. Size 55-74 cm.

Distinctive Markings

Upright stance and a dark head contrasting with a white neck ring in both males and females.

Diet

Omnivore. Feeds on pasture or aquatic vegetation. Also eats algae, insects and molluscs.

Habitat

Prefers freshwater habitats including lakes, estuaries, dams and flooded paddocks. Will frequent saltwater but this needs to be close to a supply of freshwater.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Sounds
Male produces a deep, harsh nasal buzzing grunt or honk. Females produce a high call, "ank - aank" or "anganker".
Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus
Tadorna
Species
tadornoides
Found in south-western and south-eastern Australia. Occasionally seen north to the Kimberley region of Western Australia and in central Australia.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.

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