Cape Shelduck (South African Shelduck)

Cape Shelduck (Tadorna cana), also known as South African Shelduck, is in a group of goose-like ducks in the family Anatidae. Found throughout parts of South Africa, this species is uniquely patterned with their bold tan and chestnut breast and starkly different gray neck and head. In flight, males are seen with a bright white patch on their marginal and secondary coverts followed by iridescent green coverts. Cape Shelducks and Egyptian Geese can look similar in flight, but are distinguished by the male’s deep honk or female’s sharp hark vocalizations. South African Shelducks females are similar with the same rusty breast and usually display either an almost completely white head and neck or a gray head and neck with white plumage around the eyes and bill, but are variable. Both sexes have pitch-black eyes, bills, and legs. Juveniles are easy to distinguish from adults through their duller plumage.

Cape shelduck species in south africa