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Tadorna tadorna

Tadorna tadorna , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Pangalloanserae
Cladus: Galloanseres
Ordo: Anseriformes

Familia: Anatidae
Subfamilia: Tadorninae
Genus: Tadorna
Species: Tadorna tadorna

Tadorna tadorna (Linnaeus, 1758)

Anas tadorna (protonym)

Tadorna tadorna

Tadorna tadorna , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Tadorna tadorna

Tadorna tadorna


Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiæ: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. i–ii, 1–824 pp DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542: 122. Reference page.

Vernacular names
العربية: شهرمان شائع
asturianu: Coríu la Basa
azərbaycanca: Ala ördək
башҡортса: Аласабыр
беларуская: Пярэстая качка
български: Бял ангъч
বাংলা: শাহ চখা
brezhoneg: Tadorn roueel
català: Ànec blanc
čeština: Husice liščí
Cymraeg: Hwyaden yr Eithin
dansk: Gravand
Deutsch: Brandgans
Ελληνικά: Αλάουρτος
English: Common Shelduck
Esperanto: Verdkapa tadorno
español: Tarro blanco
eesti: Ristpart
euskara: Paita arrunt
فارسی: تنجه
suomi: Ristisorsa
føroyskt: Kápureyð ont
Nordfriisk: Baragan
français: Tadorne de Belon
Frysk: Berchein
Gaeilge: Lacha bhreach
Gàidhlig: Cra-geadh
galego: Pato branco
Gaelg: Thunnag vreck
עברית: טדורנה
hrvatski: Utva
magyar: Bütykös ásólúd
հայերեն: Խայտաբադ
íslenska: Brandönd
italiano: Volpoca
日本語: ツクシガモ
ქართული: ამლაყი იხვი
қазақша: Италақаз
한국어: 혹부리오리
kurdî: Werdeka golan
lietuvių: Urvinė antis
latviešu: Sāmsalas dižpīle
македонски: Гусковида патка
монгол: Анхидал
Malti: Kuluvert tas-Salib
Nedersaksies: Bargente
Nederlands: Bergeend
norsk nynorsk: Gravand
norsk: Gravand
polski: Ohar
پنجابی: عام شیلڈک
português: Pato-branco
rumantsch: Anda faschada
русский: Пеганка
саха тыла: Эриэн кус
davvisámegiella: Ruossaduoršu
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Utva
slovenčina: Kazarka pestrá
slovenščina: Duplinska gos
shqip: Laroshja
српски / srpski: Šarena utva - Шарена утва
svenska: Gravand
ไทย: เป็ดเชลดัก
Türkçe: Suna
українська: Галагаз
vèneto: Tadorna
Tiếng Việt: Vịt khoang
中文: 翘鼻麻鸭

The common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) is a waterfowl species of the shelduck genus, Tadorna. It is widespread and common in the Euro-Siberian region of the Palearctic, mainly breeding in temperate and wintering in subtropical regions; in winter, it can also be found in the Maghreb.

Fossil bones from Dorkovo (Bulgaria) described as Balcanas pliocaenica may actually belong to this species. More likely, they are an extinct species of Tadorna (if not a distinct genus) due to their Early Pliocene age; the present species is not unequivocally attested from the fossil record until some 2–3 million years later (Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene).


The common shelduck was formally named by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae under the binomial name Anas tadorna.[2] Linnaeus largely based his description on "The Sheldrake or Burrough-Duck" that had been described and illustrated in 1731 by the English naturalist Eleazar Albin.[3][4] The specific epithet comes from the French word Tadorne for this species,[5] a name that was used by the French naturalist Pierre Belon in 1555.[6] It may originally derive from Celtic roots meaning "pied waterfowl", essentially the same as the English "shelduck".[7] Linnaeus specified the locality as Europe but restricted this to Sweden in 1761.[8][4] The common shelduck is now placed in the genus Tadorna that was introduced in 1822 by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie.[9][10] The species is monotypic: no subspecies are recognised.[10]

The common shelduck resembles a small short-necked goose in size and shape. It is a striking bird, with a reddish-pink bill, pink feet, a white body with chestnut patches and a black belly, and a dark green head and neck. The wing coverts are white, the primary remiges black, and the secondaries green (only showing in flight) and chestnut. The underwings are almost entirely white. Sexes are similar, but the female is smaller, with some white facial markings, while the male is particularly crisply coloured in the breeding season, his bill bright red and bearing a prominent knob at the forehead.

Ducklings are white, with black cap, hindneck and wing and back patches. Juveniles are similarly coloured, greyish above and mostly white below, but already have the adult's wing pattern.

The call is a loud honk.
Distribution and habitat

This is a bird which breeds in temperate Eurosiberia. Most populations migrate to subtropical areas in winter, but this species is largely resident in westernmost Europe, apart from movements to favoured moulting grounds, such as the Wadden Sea on the north German coast.

The common shelduck is common around the coastline of Great Britain and Ireland (where it is simply known as shelduck), where it frequents salt marshes and estuaries. It frequently nests in rabbit burrows. Sightings of this bird are rare in North America and are reported as infrequent visitors to the U.S. and Canada.[11]

Moulting flocks can be very large (100,000 on the Wadden Sea), since most pairs leave their partially grown young in a crèche with just one or two adults.

This species is mainly associated with lakes and rivers in open country, breeding in rabbit burrows, tree holes, haystacks or similar. In winter it is common on suitable estuaries and tidal mudflats as well.

This bird is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The young will dive under water to avoid predators and the adults will fly away from them to act as a decoy.

Male common shelduck in flight in England.

A female ruffles up her feathers.

Adults upending, note underside and feet colors

Common shelduck, male and female together on the island of Amrum, Germany

Adults mating in Lancashire (UK) (male right), note size difference

Nesting site diorama, Küstenmuseum Juist (Germany)

Ducklings on Borkum (Germany)

Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

Female and two ducklings.


BirdLife International (2019). "Tadorna tadorna". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T22680024A154560262. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22680024A154560262.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 122.
Albin, Eleazar; Derham, William (1731). A Natural History of Birds : Illustrated with a Hundred and One Copper Plates, Curiously Engraven from the Life. Vol. 1. London: Printed for the author and sold by William Innys. p. 90, Plate 94.
Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1979). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 451.
Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 377. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Belon, Pierre (1555). L'histoire de la natvre des oyseavx : avec levrs descriptions, & naïfs portraicts retirez du natvrel, escrite en sept livres (in French). Paris: Gilles Corrozet. pp. 172–173.
Kear, Janet (2005). Ducks, Geese, and Swans. Oxford University Press. p. 420. ISBN 0-19-861008-4.
Linnaeus, Carl (1761). Fauna svecica : sistens animalia sveciae regni: mammalia, aves, amphibia, pisces, insecta, vermes, distributa per classes & ordines, genera & species, cum differentiis specierum, synonymis auctorum, nominibus incolarum, locis natalium, descriptionibus insectorum (in Latin) (2nd ed.). Stockholmiae: Sumtu & Literis Direct. Laurentii Salvii. p. 40.
Boie, Friedrich (1822). Tagebuch gehalten auf einer Reise durch Norwegen im Jahre 1817 (in German). Schleswig: Königl Taubstummen - Institut. pp. 140, 351.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2021). "Screamers, ducks, geese & swans". IOC World Bird List Version 11.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
"NARBA North American Rare Bird Alert". Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.

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