Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Radjah Shelduck (Radjah radjah)


French: Tadorne radjah German: Radjahgans Spanish: Tarro rajá
Other common names: White-headed Shelduck

Anas radjah

“Garnot” Lesson

, 1828,



Previously placed in genus Tadorna, but then found to be paraphyletic with respect to Alopochen#R#R. Hybridization recorded in captivity with Tadorna ferruginea and T. tadorna, producing fertile progeny. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. r. radjah (Lesson, 1828) – Moluccas and Lesser Sundas (Tanimbar Is) E to New Guinea and Aru Is.
  • R. r. rufitergum (E. J. O. Hartert, 1905) – coastal N Australia from NE Western Australia E to SE Queensland.
  • Descriptive notes

    48·5–61 cm; 590–1130 g. Unmistakable. Upperwing characteristic in flight with white on coverts, dark primaries and iridescent green secondaries like in... read more


    Calls on land, water and in flight, being generally very vocal and showing reasonably produced... read more


    Most commonly found in coastal marshes, lagoons, tidal mudflats, mangrove swamps, sheltered bays... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly animal food, with predominance of aquatic invertebrates, such as molluscs, insects and worms; additionally, some vegetable matter,... read more


    Laying Feb–May (W of range, Northern Territory), Nov–Jan (in E, e.g. in N Queensland), apparently depending on extent and... read more


    Mainly sedentary, N Australian race being somewhat dispersive during dry season; has been recorded... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rather uncommon and absent from several suitable areas within main range; has declined due to excessive hunting pressure, as... read more

    Recommended citation

    Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Radjah Shelduck (Radjah radjah). 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 7 December 2019).