PARADISE SHELDUCK

PARADISE SHELDUCK (Tadorna variegata)

The Paradise shelduck is endemic to New Zealand, and is widespread. This is a bird that actually increased its population since European settlement because they were prized for hunting, thus favorable environments for the birds were created. Males and females have very different plumage. In terms of size, the Paradise shelduck is between a large duck and a small goose.

NAME: The English name ‘Duck’ is from Anglo-saxon ‘duce’ and means ‘diver’. The name part ‘Shel’ is an English dialect word to mean ‘variegated’, just as in the Latin species name. The Latin genus name ‘Tadorna’ is from Italian and also means ‘variegated’.

Male Paradise Shelduck. This (a bit blurry) photo shows the green wing feathers. Christchurch Botanic Garden, South Island, New Zealand.
Male Paradise Shelduck. This (a bit blurry) photo shows the green wing feathers. Christchurch Botanic Garden, South Island, New Zealand.
Paradise shelduck foraging - Christchurch Botanic Garden, NZ
Paradise shelduck foraging – Christchurch Botanic Garden, NZ
Paradise shelduck - Christchurch Botanic Garden, NZ
Paradise shelduck – Christchurch Botanic Garden, NZ
Paradise shelduck from the back. Because of the sun light angle, the green wing feathers appear as black. Christchurch Botanic Garden, NZ
Paradise shelduck from the back. Because of the sun light angle, the green wing feathers appear as black. Christchurch Botanic Garden, NZ

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