Sunday Inspiration – More Anatidae Swimmers

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys ©WikiC

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys ©WikiC

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Gen 1:21-22 KJV)

Today we only have 22 more Anatidae family members to show you, but it will take 14 different genera to present them. The largest and the first genus, with 7 species, is the Shelducks.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Shelducks are large birds in the Tadorna genus. Many consider them as intermediate between geese and ducks in size. The sexes are colored slightly differently in most species, and all have a characteristic upperwing coloration in flight: the tertiary remiges form a green speculum, the secondaries and primaries are black, and the coverts (forewing) are white. Their diet consists of small shore animals (winkles, crabs etc.) as well as grasses and other plants.

The genus name comes from the French name Tadorne for the common shelduck. It may originally derive from Celtic roots meaning “pied waterfowl”, essentially the same as the English “shelduck”

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)  at Wings of Asia by Lee

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata)

  • Paradise Shelducks of New Zealand often have one mating partner for life.

Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata)

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) by Ian

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) by Ian

Each of the next 5 Ducks and Teals are the only ones in their genus.

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) ©WikiC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) ©WikiC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)

Salvadori's Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) ©Drawing WikiC

Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) ©Drawing WikiC

Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadoran waigiuensis)

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

  • Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck. Mallards, especially, are easy to crossbreed with other types of ducks, and mallards often hybridize with all types of ducks at local ponds.
White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) by Nikhil

White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) by Nikhil

White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata)

Hartlaub's Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii)

Two of my favorite Ducks, which we get to see often, are the Wood and Mandarin Ducks in the Aix genus. The Wood Ducks are local to us and are a treat to see their evidence of the Master’s Hand. Their cousin, the Mandarin Ducks are in many zoos and Lakeland, FL (right near here) placed some in one of their lakes.

Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck

Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata) ©AGrosset

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata) ©AGrosset

The Maned Duck is again an only species in its genus, the Chenonetta.
Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) by Lee

The Pygmy Geese are only three, but are in two different genera. The Nerthus and the Nettapus.
African Pygmy Goose (Nerthus auritus)
Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
Green Pygmy Goose (Nettapus pulchellus)

The last four for today are in four genera, and include two Teals and two Ducks.

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) ©WikiC

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) ©WikiC

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys)

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) ©WikiC

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) ©WikiC

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) EXTINCT

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) ©WikiC

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) ©WikiC

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis)

One of the comments made last week mentioned that they didn’t realize how many Ducks and family members there are. Here are a couple of “Duck Facts”:

The duck is a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. They are related to swans and geese.

  • Ducks are mostly aquatic birds living in both fresh water and sea water and found on every continent except for Antarctica.
  • A male duck is called a drake, a female duck a hen, and a baby duck a duckling.
  • Ducks are omnivores. They feed on aquatic plants, small fish, insects, worms, grubs and more. People often feed domesticated ducks bread.
  • Diving ducks and sea ducks search for food fairly deep underwater. To be able to stay underwater more easily, diving ducks are quite heavy.
  • Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of water, on land, or by ducking their head underwater. Along the edge of their beak is a comb-like structure called a pecten, that enables them to hold slippery food and filter nutrients out of the water.

These Facts are from Fun Duck Facts for Kids (and adults)

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There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)

“God’s Greatness Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

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More Sunday Inspirations

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family

Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks, and Geese

Sunday Inspiration – Geese and Swans

Sunday Inspiration – Duck and Geese

Hope for Hard Times

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Lee’s Two Word Tuesday – 8/9/16

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Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) Brevard Zoo by Dan Brevard Zoo by Dan Aug-2014

I AWAKED

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“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” (Psalms 3:5 KJV)

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) Brevard Zoo by Dan

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More Daily Devotionals

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See One Word Monday – Raja Shelduck Asleep

Ruddy and Raja Shelducks at Wings of Asia

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Dan

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Dan

We enjoyed our latest birdwatching adventure to Zoo Miami. Caught video of the Ruddy Shelducks discussing something. So this time we will share the two species of Shelducks at the Wings of Asia aviary. The Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and the Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) are members of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans. They are in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae. There are seven species in the Tadorninae subfamily. Wings of Asia has the Ruddy and Raja Shelducks.

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. (Psalms 104:1 KJV)

The Lord has provided for the Shelducks, as He does for all His critters. They are designed for the conditions they live in, in this case swimming, feeding and migrating, with beaks, feet, wings, and coloration to help them survive.

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at ZM

Ruddy –  There are very small resident populations of this species in north west Africa and Ethiopia, but the main breeding area of this species is from southeast Europe across central Asia to Southeast Asia. These birds are mostly migratory, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent.

Facts:

  • They are sometimes called Brahminy Ducks.
  • Can be seen in many Zoos in America.
  • In Tibet and Mongolia, Ruddy Shelduck is considered sacred by the Buddhists. It is also a sacred animal in Slavic mythology.

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 of a genuine vagrant has been found.

This is a bird of open country, and it will breed on cliffs, in burrows, tree holes or crevices distant from water, laying 6-16 creamy-white eggs, incubated for 30 days. The both 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.

The ruddy shelduck is a distinctive species, 22.8-27.5 in (58-70) cm long with a 43-53 in (110–135 cm) wingspan. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers. It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck. The sexes of this striking species are similar, but the male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck in the breeding season summer, and the female often has a white face patch. The call is a loud wild honking.

Not sure what these Ruddy’s were debating about, but it seems the single one lost the discussion and left.

 

 

The ruddy shelduck is a common winter visitor in India. This bird is found in large wetlands, rivers with mud flats and shingle banks. Found in large congregation on lakes and reservoirs. It breeds in high altitude lakes and swamps in Jammu & Kashmir. Arrives in north India by October and departs by April. The genus name Tadorna comes from Celtic roots and means “pied waterfowl”, essentially the same as the English “shelduck”.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck – The Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah), is a species of shelduck found mostly in New Guinea and Australia, and also on some of the Moluccas. It is known alternatively as the raja shelduck (IOC Name), black-backed shelduck, or in Australia as the Burdekin duck.

The Raja Shelduck forms long-term pair-bonds, and is usually encountered in lone pairs or small flocks. During the wet season the males commonly become very irritable, and have been observed attacking their mates.

The diet consists mainly of mollusks, insects, sedge materials and algae. Pairs start searching for nesting sites during the months of January and February. They nest close to their primary food source, often in the hollow limbs of trees, which makes habitat destruction a particular issue.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) by Dan at Zoo Miami

The radjah shelduck does not use nesting materials except for some self-supplied down feathers. Egg-laying is usually done by May or June, but depends on the extent of the wet season. The clutches range from 6 to 12 eggs. Incubation time is about 30 days. (Wikipedia edited)

Here are photos of both Shelducks. Some of the photos are from other trips and some from Ian. (PBZ is Palm Beach Zoo)

 

 

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Paradise Shelduck

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 1

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Paradise Shelduck ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 1/16/12

Shelducks are all rather splendid, so this one has to be particularly fine to earn the moniker ‘Paradise’. Interestingly, it is the white-headed female that is, I think, the more striking as in the first photo of a female having a drink (of salt water!) at Milford Sound.

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 2

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 2

The second photo shows the same bird stretching her wing to show us the gorgeous emerald green secondary flight feathers. Like all Shelducks, these are large ducks, averaging 63cm/25in in length and the males, averaging 1,700g/3.7lbs, are larger than the females, 1,400g/3.1lbs.
Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 3

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 3

Meanwhile her mate, who has a dark brown head and finely patterned wing coverts, decides it’s time to go for a swim.
The males have the same black, emerald green and white wing pattern as the female as shown by this male flying along a river in the Waitaki Valley.
Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 4

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 4

Unlike most other avian species where the female is more colourful, such as Buttonquails and Cassowaries, here there is no switching of gender roles: the female incubates the eggs while the male vigorously defends the territory from predators. Paradise Shelducks maintain pair bonds from one year to the next returning to the same territory. They are partial to both high country riverbeds and farmland and the population has benefitted from the clearing of land for pasture since European settlement.
The Paradise Shelduck is a New Zealand endemic, though a flock of 5 spent arrived on Lord Howe Island in March 1950 and remained for over a month so it is included in the official Australian list.
Best wishes
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

What a neat looking bird. Both the male and the female have such a clean look about them. Shelducks are part of the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese, and Swans Family. They are all in the Tadorna Genus which includes 6 Shelducks. We do not have Shelducks established here in the U.S.

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 ESV)

See Ian’s Shelducks on his Birdway website.

Australian Shelduck

Paradise Shelduck

Common Shelduck

Radjah/Raja Shelduck

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