About Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) Danube Delta
The ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) is a species facing extinction in Romania. In the '80s this bird had nearly disappeared entirely from the country.
This species prefers steppe areas and it can be found from Eastern Europe to China, at the base of the Pamir Mountains.
Its bright orange plumage gives this bird a special status in the Buddhist religion. During flight, on its wings can be seen green and white feathers.
This bird is a migratory species and it arrives in the Danube's Delta at the beginning of March. It nests in near the lagoons.
The ruddy shelduck does not depend on water. It broods on fields or on abrupt shores and it prefers hollows or burrows.
This species feeds on various herbs and insects found on the plain areas. This bird retreats in the areas near lakes when it moults. During pairing season, the males have a strong territorial sense and they use a specific sound, strong and melodious, in order to defend a territory.
The ruddy shelduck reaches its sexual maturity at the age of 3. One pair of birds can lay up to 8 eggs, but there have been cases of cumulative lays, leading to families having up to 20 chicks.
The natural enemies of the ruddy shelduck, from the Danube's Delta, are the fox and the jackal, a new species of predator in the Delta.
Globally are being used artificial broods to save the species. In Romania the ruddy shelduck is protected in special reserves.