About Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) Danube Delta
The Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) is a species which can be found mainly in coastal areas. It is a large bird, with the size of an average domestic goose.
This bird arrives in the Danube's Delta in March and leaves in October. During mild winters it remains in the delta.
The common shelduck is a species which prefers low depth and salty waters, but sometimes it can be also found inland.
This bird is omnivorous, but its main source of nutrients is crabs and small molluscs, worms and larvae.
The plumage of the common shelduck is a combination of mainly black and white feathers and a few spots of chestnut feathers. The male has a knob near its beak and the female has a white facial making. During breeding season the male's beak turns red.
The common shelduck builds its nest on the ground. It will either dig a burrow; either it will occupy a gallery made by foxes or badgers.
There is a hypothesis which states that the common shelduck is able to cohabit with foxes and badgers, but there are no reliable data.
The female can lay up to 10 eggs per nest in one season. During the first weeks after the hatch, the parents take the ducklings on the water. In the past, during spring, people used to take eggs from nests and wait for them to hatch in their households. By autumn they would sacrifice the ducklings for their delicious meat.
In 1955 the common shelduck was declared nature's monument and ever since it has been protected by local and international hunting laws.