Common Shelduck

Tadorna tadorna

This Common Shelduck appeared at Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s on November 17, 2009 – hanging around just long enough to be seen by a couple birders before flying off. It was never relocated. While the provenance of this species is always questioned in North America, there is a strong case for this one having been wild.
– Photo: Bruce Mactavish (November 17, 2009)

Status: Very Rare (< 5 records)

Origins: This very migratory species is widespread across most of Eurasia, and is now breeding commonly in Iceland. There are currently no “accepted” records in North America since it is regularly kept in captivity, leading to uncertainty of origin.

Record Details: Two records for Newfoundland: (1) A 1st winter bird was present in St. John’s for just minutes on November 17, 2009 before flying off. (2) An adult drake was photographed in Renews on April 2, 2014 – a perfect habitat, location and timing for a bona fide vagrant on its way to Iceland. There are also three records for Labrador: Two individual have been shot by hunters – one at L’Anse-au-Clair (1998/99; precise date unclear) and one at Webb Bay (35 km north of Main) on April 11, 2020. Most recently, a drake was present at Forteau (December 11, 2020 – January 13, 2021). The origins of all North American reports have been questioned, however there is a strong case for these individual being wild.

* NOTE – This website is not an official account and “may” contain incorrect information and/or details of unconfirmed records. *

November 17, 2009, St. John’s
– Photo: Bruce Mactavish

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