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South African Shelduck | Tadorna cana

The South African Shelduck is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Anatidae bird family group which includes birds such as Ducks, Geese.

The description for the South African Shelduck (Latin name Tadorna cana) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Tadorna cana can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 103 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 93. You will find a picture of the South African Shelduck on page 97.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the South African Shelduck between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The South African Shelduck is known in Afrikaans as Kopereend.

The South African Shelduck is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The South African Shelduck has a height of 64 cms and weighs around 1360 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Tadorna cana has a tan coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Tadorna cana has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is tan

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The South African Shelduck is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 6 to 15 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builts its nest in a hole in the ground.

The South African Shelduck is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The South African Shelduck is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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