European Shelduck
 Common Shelduck

[ European Shelduck ] [ Cape Shelduck ] [ Ruddy Shelduck ]
[ Paradise Shelduck ] [ Australian Shelduck ] [ Rajah Shelduck ]



The European Shelduck, more commonly referred to as the Common Shelduck, is a large, somewhat goose-like duck with very dark green head, some black markings and chestnut breast band from the back of the neck to the beginning of the wings. Both sides of the body and back are white. The bill is red and drake has a little knob on the bill before forehead. The legs are pink. It moves the wings considerably slower while flying than other species of ducks. 

Major habitats are in the natural zones of steppes and semi deserts. In Europe it breeds in coastal regions, the Mediterranean, France, Poland, the British Isles, the Scandinavian countries and south-west Finland. In Estonia it is spread on the seashore, mostly on the maritime islands in western Estonia. The seashore with shallow coastal water is its habitat. 



The Common Shelduck builds its nest into caves, deserted burrows of foxes and badgers, wide clefts in cliffs and other similar places. Its nests have been found in stone fences, under the floors and ceilings of dwelling houses. The pair remains together during the whole breeding period. They line the nest with plentiful downy feathers and the female bird lays the first eggs at the end of May. The full clutch (8 - 12 white eggs) is laid at the beginning of June. Both parents take care of hatching and feeding the young. The young hatch at the beginning of July and are able to fly at the end of August. Apart from hatching time, the Common Shelduck loves company and up to 50 birds flock together.


General Comments

This duck flies much like a goose and it walks easily on land.
While they are considered great ducks for the beginner, they can be a little aggressive towards other species of waterfowl if they don't have adequate room, and may need to be housed in their own aviary. I have kept them with other species and they have done fine, just don't over crowd your birds.


Place Mouse over Pictures to Enlarge

European Shelduck Drake

European Shelduck Drake

Hen on the top and Drake on the bottom

European Shelduck five day old Duckling

How to Order