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Rajah Shelduck


[ European Shelduck ] [ Cape Shelduck ] [ Ruddy Shelduck ]
     
[ Paradise Shelduck ] [ Australian Shelduck ] [ Rajah Shelduck ]
 

 

Description

Both the male and female Rajah Shelducks are similar in their black and white coloring. Their heads, necks and under parts are white. Their wings and a prominent band across their breast are black. The Rajah ducks secondary feathers are metallic green in color with white tips. Their legs, feet and bill are light pink. These shelducks have a body length of 51 to 61 cm. The wingspan is approximately twice the body length. The juveniles of this species are similar to the adults, but the white plumage is duller in color with a brown tinge on the crown and neck. Their legs, bill, and feet are whitish in color. Their iris is dark brown. The Rajah chicks have black markings and a chestnut brown cap, which stretches to the eyes. There are a pair of very distinct white spots on the inside of the wings, each side of the upper back and one on each side of the lower back. These markings are only in the chick stage and they will grow out of it when they reach the juvenile stage. The eggs of this species are creamy white in color and have an average size of 60 x 42 mm.

 

Breeding

Pairs start searching for nesting sites during the months of January and February. The nests are typically near the water. They nest in the hollow limbs of trees. They don't use nesting materials except for some down feathers. 

The egg-laying is usually done by May or June, but it depends on the extent of the rainy season. The clutches range from 6 to 12 eggs. Incubation time is about 30 days. 

There are three primary growth stages; chicks, juveniles, and adults. The chicks can be recognized by their black markings, brown cap and white spots. The juveniles are similar to the adults, but duller in color. The adults have white heads, necks and under parts. There is a prominent black band across their breast and their wings are black. 

 

General Comments

This animal is usually seen in pairs or in small flocks. They have long-term pair-bonds. During the rainy seasons flocks break up and the males become aggressive and may even attack their mates. The Rajah ducks feed by grazing in pastures or by dabbling in the water. They feed mostly at night, spend their days roosting in trees. They are relatively slow when in flight. Both of the sexes can be quite vocal, even when flying. The females call resembles a harsh rattle while the males call is a hoarse whistle. 

 


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Rajah Shelduck

 
Rajah Shelduck



Rajah Shelduck


Rajah Shelduck


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