Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 January 2018 | 10(1): 11234–11236





Sighting of the Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (Linnaeus, 1758) (Aves: Anseriformes: Anatidae) in Shettikeri Tank, Karnataka, India

Darwin Dasan Tamiliniyan 1, Santhanakrishnan Babu 2 & Honnavalli Nagaraj Kumara 3


1,2,3 Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Anaikatty, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641108, India

1, 2 (corresponding author), 3








The Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna is one of the 42 species of ducks, geese and swans found in India belonging to the family Anatidae (Rahmani & Islam 2008; Praveen et al. 2016). It breeds in parts of Europe, Mediterranean, central Asia through eastern Siberia, Mongolia and Tibet (Ali & Ripley 1987). During winter, it is widespread, including northern Africa, Iran, the Indian subcontinent, coastal China, southwestern Korea, Japan and Taiwan (Ali & Ripley 1987). In India, it is an uncommon visitor to northern parts of peninsular India, however, it is rarely recorded from southern peninsula (Rahmani & Islam 2008). This note reports the first sighting of the Common Shelduck from Karnataka.

On 24 November 2016, the first author had noticed a white and a black duck in a flock of seven Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea on the banks of the Shettikeri tank in Gadag District, Karnataka. While observing through binoculars, it was found that the duck had a greenish-black head and neck, white body with a chestnut band on the breast, and a black scapular stripe. The above said morphological characteristics of the duck corresponded with the Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (Grimmett et al. 2011). A few photographs (Images 1 & 2) were also taken to endorse the identification of the species because of potential misidentification of the Shelduck with domesticated ducks.

Shettikeri tank (15.181388890N & 75.558055560E) is located in the Shirahatti Taluk of Gadag District, Karnataka with a size of 94.95ha. Shettikeri tank and nearby Magadi tank harbours a large congregation of winter visitors including thousands of Bar-headed Geese visiting these tanks every year. Considering its significance in the conservation of migratory wetland birds, the Magadi-Shettikeri tanks were recognised as Important Bird Areas (Birdlife International 2018). Again on 02 December 2016, a male Common Shelduck was observed swimming amid a flock of 36 Ruddy Shelducks. A successive visit to the tank on 10 December 2016 failed to detect the Common Shelduck, however, Ruddy Shelducks were roosting on the banks of the tank.

Other records of the species from the southern peninsula (Fig. 1) are Carambolin-Dhado Wetland complex and Narve-Tikhazan Marsh in Goa (ebird), Chilika Lake in Odisha (Balachandran et al. 2005), Pulicat Lake in Andhra Pradesh (Taher 2016), and eight locations in Maharashtra viz.: Malkhed Reservoir, Amravati (Wadatkar & Wagh 2014), Sonvad Dam (eBird), Chandika Devi Mandir, Jalgaon (eBird), Kavdi-Pune (eBird), Kumbhargaon Bird Sanctuary (eBird), Bhandup Pumping Station, Mumbai (eBird), Panje, Raigarh (eBird) and Airoli Creek, Mumbai (eBird).

Rahmani & Islam (2008) have mentioned that the species is very rare in the south except one unconfirmed sighting of the species from Bengaluru Airport. In a recent review of Asian Waterfowl Census data of Andhra Pradesh, it was found that the only authentic record of the species from southern India is from the Pulicat Lake and it turned out to be the known southern distribution limit of the species (Taher 2016). While reviewing a recent compilation of birds of Karnataka (Praveen et al. 2016), it was found that the Common Shelduck was not reported from the state earlier. Hence, it is a first report for the state and the Common Shelduck appears like a vagrant to some parts of Karnataka and southern peninsular India.









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Balachandran, S., A.R. Rahmani & P. Sathiyaselvam (2005). Habitat evaluation of Chilika Lake with special reference to birds as Bio indicators. Final Report (2001-2005). Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India.

BirdLife International (2018). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Magadi and Shetikere Wetlands. Downloaded from on 19/01/2018

eBird Basic Dataset (2016). Version: EBD_relAug-2016. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Accessed 4th January 2017 & 8th January 2018.

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (2011). Birds of the Indian Subcontinent: Second Edition. Oxford university press, New Delhi, 528pp.

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Rahmani, A.R. & M.Z. Islam (2008). Ducks, Geese, and Swans of India: Their Status and Distribution. Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society, Royal Society for Protection of Birds and BirdLife International. Oxford University Press, 374pp.

Taher, H. (2016). Some interesting sightings from the 2014 Asian Water bird Census in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India. Indian Birds 11(2): 42–44.

Wadatkar, J.S. & G.A. Wagh (2014). First report of Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna from the Vidarbha region, Maharashtra, India. Indian Birds 9(5&6): 162.