Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea

The majority of Ruddy Shelducks in the UK are unlikely to be genuine wild vagrants from their native range. Escapes from captivity are frequent and these account for a number of sightings. However small influxes of this species appear each autumn, usually involving immature birds, and it now seems likely that these derive from an burgeoning feral population which exists in Continental Europe. This species has not yet become established as a ferally breeding bird in the UK, but it has bred here (including in Norfolk) and these birds may perhaps account for some of the flocks that have been seen in Norfolk recently.

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presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 6th May 2013 (this bird carries a blue leg ring and there are more photos of it further down)

 

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presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 27th May 2013 (same as above)

 

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Ruddy Shelduck, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 1st September 2007

 

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presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 17th March 2013

 

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Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 31st March 2013

 

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escaped Ruddy Shelduck (and Shelducks), near Beetley (Norfolk, UK), 2nd March 2014 - the same blue plastic ringed bird, being very aggressive towards 7 Shelducks, with little effect

 

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Ruddy Shelducks, Cley (Norfolk, UK), 14th August 2005

 

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Ruddy Shelduck, Rawhall Gravel Pits (Norfolk, UK), 14th March 2013

 

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Ruddy Shelducks, private site (Norfolk, UK), 16th March 2013 - the left hand bird is very probably the bird from Rawhall above; the right hand one bears a blue leg flag so is presumably an escapee

 

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presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 17th March 2013

 

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escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 8th August 2013

 

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Ruddy Shelducks, Swanton Morley (Norfolk, UK), 1st September 2007 (different birds from the one shown in the four photos near the top of the page)

 

presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 7th April 2013

 

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Ruddy Shelducks, Göksu Delta (Turkey), 9th May 2010

 

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presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 8th May 2013

 

presumed escaped Ruddy Shelduck, private site (Norfolk, UK), 16th September 2013

 

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escaped Ruddy Shelduck, Beetley (Norfolk, UK), 30th November 2014

 

Identifying Ruddy Shelducks should be straightforward, but beware the similar Cape Shelduck, a species which sometimes escapes from captivity and has recently been seen with Ruddy Shelducks in Norfolk. In flight, they have also been confused with Egyptian Goose by inexperienced birders.

The following Ruddy Shelducks are in captivity:

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captive Ruddy Shelducks (with hybrid Australian x Ruddy Shelduck in lower photos), Grange-over-Sands (Cumbria, UK), 28th December 2011

 

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captive Cape Shelduck (left) and Ruddy Shelduck (right), Grange-over-Sands (Cumbria, UK), 28th December 2011

 

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captive Ruddy Shelducks, Grange-over-Sands (Cumbria, UK), 27th December 2012

 

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captive Ruddy Shelduck with Cape Shelduck, Grange-over-Sands (Cumbria, UK), 27th December 2012

 

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captive Ruddy Shelducks, Pensthorpe (Norfolk, UK), 9th March 2014