South African Shelduck Tadorna cana Scientific name definitions

David G. Allan
Version: 2.0 — Published February 23, 2023

Movements and Migration


In Free State Province, breeding pairs are widely scattered in the south during the winter breeding period (July‒September), but concentrate to molt at certain large freshwater wetlands in the center of the province during November‒December, and then disperse to temporary brackish pans in the west for the late summer and autumn periods (97, 98, 28, 1). Such movements are probably typical throughout the species’ range. It was previously reported to be a partial migrant in Namibia, being commonest in the north, in Damaraland, during winter (70), but more recent atlas data suggest that it is now mainly a summer visitor to far northern Namibia (43).

Recoveries of South African ringed birds (393 of 9,507 individuals ringed) reveal widespread movements across the South African range and occasionally into southern Namibia (99). The median distance covered was 249 km (of 328 ring recoveries) (100). The longest movement was 1,075 km, from Barberspan, North-West Province, to Vogelvlei, Western Cape Province, and an additional 12 recoveries were each in excess of 900 km (101). One bird moved across the virtual width of the range in one month (99).

Dispersal and Site Fidelity

Information needed.

Recommended Citation

Allan, D. G. (2023). South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (G. D. Engelbrecht, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.soashe1.02