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Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation Ponds

Endemic to Australia, the boldly coloured Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) has black head, white ring around the neck, white forewings and chestnut coloured breast. The female have a white ring around the eye. They are up to 72 cm long, and the male have a wingspan up to 132 cm.

Other common names for the Australian Shelduck include Chestnut-breasted Shelduck, Mountain Duck and Sheldrake.

Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer

Their habitat is grassland/cropland, where there is large area of shallow waters, including wetlands, mudflats and even wide beaches. They graze on aquatic and terrestrial plants at the water edges or in shallow water.

Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer

Outside of the breeding season they can occur in very large flocks. They are a noisy bird in flight and are known to form long ‘V’s formation.

The photographs presented here were taking in the month of June.

Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds © Dorothy Latimer

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Informal: Gnathostomata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Subfamily: Tadorninae
  • Genus: Tadorna
  • Subgenus: infrageneric Casarca
  • Species: Tadorna tadornoides

Footnote & References

  1. Tadorna (Casarca) tadornoides (Jardine & Selby, 1828), Australian Shelduck, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/046dd167-e59a-4b0f-b573-fc72de406e85
  2. Australian Shelduck, Tadorna tadornoides, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/learn/animals/birds/australian-shelduck/

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