Generic filters


What am I?

The shelduck is one of our largest ducks, growing as big as some geese. It is mainly coastal, feeding on small invertebrates that it finds in the mud of estuaries and sandy beaches. It has spread inland, however, as flooded gravel pits with sandy shores and gravel banks provide a perfect feeding ground.

How to spot them

The shelduck is a big, white duck, with a dark green head, bright red bill, orangey-brown band around the breast, and black patches on the back and wings.

Where to see them

Common around much of the UK’s coastline, but can also be found inland in small numbers on gravel pits and reservoirs.

Conservation status

The shelduck is amber listed in the UK (Opens in a new window) .

Did you know?

The shelduck nests underground in old rabbit burrows, in tree holes or in haystacks. During the 19th century, it was persecuted for this habit in certain areas as it competed with rabbits which were food for many people.