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Radjah Shelduck


Northern Australia and New Guinea


Sandy and muddy coasts, occasionally inland


Flight is goose-like, slower wing beats than most ducks. White headed with nearly white eyes and a blackish breastband that interrupts its otherwise white under parts. Like other shelducks, it has iridescent green speculums, but in this species they are bordered with a black bar in front and a white bar behind. The back is black, and the sexes are essentially identical in appearance.

Radjah Shelduck Click to View Bigger Picture

These birds are strongly monogamous and breed for life. The pair defend a territory that includes a nest site, a foraging area, and a brood rearing area. This territory may include as much as 2 miles of river frontage.


Usually nest in hollow trees. Clutch size averages less than ten eggs. Incubation is about 30 days with young being cared for by both parents.

Interesting Facts:

Also known at the Burdekin Duck

Radjah Shelduck
Class: aves
Genus: Tadorna
Species: radjah
Length: 24 inches
Average Lifespan: 15
Wild Diet: Mollusks and other aquatic invertebrates
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Rainforest

Learn more about aves or animals from Australasia!
Or, cross-reference the two!

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