Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)


French: Tadorne casarca German: Rostgans Spanish: Tarro canelo

Anas ferruginea


, 1764,

no locality = Central Asia


Sometimes placed in genus Casarca together with T. cana, T. tadornoides and T. variegata. Closest to T. cana; one phylogenetic analysis found these two to be sisters#R. Hybridization reported in captivity with several species of Tadorna, Radjah radjah, large species of genus Anas, and Alopochen aegyptiaca#R. Monotypic.


SE Europe E to L Baikal and Mongolia; also in Canary Is (Fuerteventura), NW Africa and Ethiopian Highlands. Formerly more widespread in W part of range. In winter reaches S of India and SE Asia.

Introduced to Switzerland.

Descriptive notes

61–71 cm; male 1200–1640 g, female 925–1500 g; wingspan 121–145 cm. Upperwing characteristic in flight with white on coverts, dark primaries and... read more


Calls frequently, both night and day, especially if disturbed, uttering loud nasal honks rendered “... read more


Diversity of waterbodies of brackish nature, including salt lakes and crater lakes, generally in... read more

Food and feeding

Grasses, leaves, seeds and stems of plants and sedges, grain, rice (in Korea and Japan), shoots and vegetables; terrestrial and aquatic... read more


Starts Mar/Apr, sometimes arriving at breeding sites in C Asia prior to them becoming ice-free, with eggs laid late Apr to early Jun in... read more


Asian population (including that in Turkey) largely migratory (although species is locally resident... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Has declined markedly in W of range, e.g. in Greece (now just 15–40 pairs), Moldova (3–8 pairs) and Romania (5–10... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea). 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 8 December 2019).