Ruddy Shelduck - Casarca

Ruddy Shelduck


Tadorna ferruginea

Pictures: Teus Luijendijk

Ruddy Shelduck is not an uncommon bird in The Netherlands. From only a few breeding pairs in the late 70s, numbers have risen to well over a hundred individuals. The last few years these can especially be seen in August, flocking together in one loose group, when they gather (for moult?) on the Eemmeer NH. After that they apparently disperse again over the wetland areas around the IJsselmeer.
The occurrence of Ruddy Shelduck in The Netherlands can largely be explained by escapes from captivity. There is, however, still the possibility that genuine stragglers from the Russian steppe areas (which do in fact migrate NW in late summer, turning up every now and then in Scandinavia) reach our country.
The birds shown here were present in a group of five in a little inundated bulb field (done so by farmers for the purpose of combatting nematodes and other unwanted organisms in the soil, after harvesting of the bulbs in July). These fields are very attractive for migrant ducks and particularly waders.

  Ruddy Shelduck  -  Casarca  Tadorna ferruginea ; videograbs (320x).
  near 't Zand NH, The Netherlands, 21 September 2002.


Apart from true Ruddy Shelducks, several types of hybrids are increasingly common, most of these originating from interbreeding with the more and more ubiquitous Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus . An example of such a hybrid is shown here:


  Ruddy Shelduck hybrid  -  Casarcahybride  Tadorna ferruginea  X Alopochen aegyptiacus ; videograb (320x).
  Lentevreugd, Wassenaar ZH, The Netherlands, 3 June 2003.


Copyright ©Teus Luijendijk 2002 - 2003