Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)


French: Tadorne d’Australie German: Halsbandkasarka Spanish: Tarro australiano
Other common names: Chestnut-breasted Shelduck

Anas tadornoides

Jardine and Selby

, 1828,

New South Wales, Australia


Sometimes placed in genus Casarca together with T. ferruginea, T. cana and T. variegata. One phylogenetic analysis found present species and T. variegata to form a clade, with T. cristata as a sister#R. Hybridization with T. ferruginea and T. cana, and also with Anser indicus, reported in captivity. Monotypic.


SW & SE Australia and Tasmania; New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

55–72 cm; male 990–1980 g, female 878–1850 g; wingspan 94–132 cm. Unmistakable, as only other Australian shelduck, Radjah radjah, is overall... read more


Noisy, especially in flight, giving loud, resonant honking calls: adult male gives low-pitched... read more


Shallow freshwater and brackish lakes, lagoons, billabongs and waste-water treatment plants,... read more

Food and feeding

Combination of vegetable matter (leaves and seeds of plants, sedges and algae) and animal food (aquatic invertebrates, mostly insects,... read more


Starts mid Jun/Jul and egg-laying may continue until late Sept; breeding recorded between Jun and Dec in SE part of Western Australia. In... read more


Largely sedentary in two main breeding centres, with wide range dispersal of up to several hundred... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and abundant, increasing and expanding in recent years, especially in Western Australia, where widespread in arid SE... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).