Female Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides
The Australian Shelduck, Tadorna tadornoides, is a shelduck, a group of large goose-like birds which are part of the bird family Anatidae, which also includes the swans, geese and ducks. The Anatidae article should be referred to for an overview of this group of birds.
This is a bird which breeds in southern Australia and Tasmania. In the southern winter, many birds move further north than the breeding range. As with other shelducks, this species has favoured moulting grounds, such as Lake George, NSW, where sizable concentrations occur.
This species is mainly associated with lakes in fairly open country, breeding in tree holes, holes in banks or similar.
The male (depicted) is largely blackish, with a chestnut breast, white neck collar and dark green head. The female is similar, but has white around the eye. Both sexes, like most shelducks, show large white wing patches in flight. They are Protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974.
The genus name Tadorna comes from Celtic roots and means "pied waterfowl", essentially the same as the English "shelduck".