Meet the Shelduck and chicks
|Adult Shelduck photography by annmackiemiller: copyright 2014|
Shelducks are probably one of the most recognisable birds in the UK. They are certainly colourful enough! In flight they have wonderful black lined wings with white fills, a distinctive orange collar, white neck, black head and red bill with a red knob. The female may have a slightly lighter face and bill and lacks the bill knob. The tail is mainly white lined with black and orange.
Look for them in estuaries, marsh land, mud flats and nesting in coastal grasslands. Some folk think they are a cross between a duck and a goose - maybe they were at one time in the very distant past but they are firmly in the duck family now.
|Adult Shelduck asleep|
|Shelduck in flight by annmackiemiller|
What do Shelduck eat?
You'll see Shelduck sweeping their bills through mud out on the estuary. They are filtering the mud for snails and other crustaceans and they are not averse to the odd insect or two. You'll even see them stirring up stones with their feet to get at anything that is underneath.