23rd January 2015

Shelduck and Egyptian Geese are related. The Shelduck is between the size of a Mallard and a goose, and has very bold and distinctive colouring , so is quite easy to identify. The males and females are similarly coloured, but the male has a protuberance at the top of its bill. The female is a little smaller than the male. They can be found on coasts, estuaries and inland on reservoirs and gravel-pits, in most parts of the UK.¬†Their Latin name ‘Tadorna Tadorna’ derives from a Celtic word meaning ‘pied’.

Shelduck showing their whit and bottle-green plumage with the easily identifiable tan collar.

Shelduck showing their whit and bottle-green plumage with the easily identifiable tan collar.

Shelducks white, dark green and tan colouring, and large size, makes them easy to identify in flight.

Shelducks white, dark green and tan colouring, and large size, makes them easy to identify in flight.

They nest in rabbit-holes, hollow trees and haystacks! Shelducks numbers increased slightly after 1965 but they are still on the amber list. The related Egyptian Goose was bred here for ornamental collections and has escaped and started to breed in the wild, especially in the east of England, where we saw these two on a bird reserve. Conditions: Cool, with growing cloud and light rain. Temperature: Max 3- Min 2c.

The related Egyptian Goose has escaped from ornamental collections and about 1,000 pairs now breeds in the wild

The related Egyptian Goose has escaped from ornamental collections and about 1,000 pairs now breeds in the wild

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