Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
The Shelduck is not actually a duck, and It not a goose either! Scientifically, it placed between the two and actually, it s not hard to see why.
The diet of a Shelduck is somewhat different to ducks and geese who tend to be vegetarian, in that they eat enormous numbers if Hydrobia which are tiny molluscs that live in our estuary mud flats. Molluscs have shells hence the name - Shelduck. Easy!
Males and females are very similar but the male (as in this photo) has a broader brown waste band.
Shelduck make their nests in burrows, often those of Rabbits. How does such a large bird get down into such a relatively small hole?
Do you take photographs of Dorset and its nature? If so then please consider becoming a contributor to the new Nature of Dorset website which I have created and hope to develop in to the ultimate guide to what wildlife you can see in Dorset and where you can see it.
Go to www.natureofdorset.co.uk and then go to the 'Visitors Guide' to find out more.
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