Shelduck (T. tadorna) is distributed in the vast areas from Western Europe to central and northeastern regions of China.
It winters in the southern and northern parts of Africa, India, southeastern part of China, southwestern part of the Korean peninsula, Kyushu in southern part of Japan, and the Far Eastern region of Russia.
In general, it had been known as a winter bird staying in groups on the coasts of the Korean peninsula from late September to the end of April.
Recently, its breeding activities were observed for the first time on Yo Islet belonging to the Mundok Migratory Bird (Wetland) Reserve in the DPRK. The bird reserve was registered as a Ramsar Site, the first of its kind in the country, and in the Network Site of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
Ri Chung Song, section chief of the Biodiversity Institute under the State Academy of Sciences, said as follows:
During an intensive survey of avifauna at the Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve from June 4 to 9, 2020, baby shelducks were observed at the ebb tide on June 7. It was the first observation of the bird’s breeding not only in the reserve but in the country.
Twenty-two adult shelducks were found foraging for food and resting their bodies, and two mother shelducks were taking care of five and six babies respectively.
The birds usually build nests on the cliffs or ground near salt water areas such as lakeshore, seashore and swamp, lay 7 to 10 eggs in mid-May and brood on them for 28 to 30 days. The babies under observation were believed to have been hatched out early in May.
This fact proves that the bird species lives on the Korean peninsula in summer, too, and offers a good possibility that the number of the bird may increase in future.
The Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve is an ideal nesting place for birds as it has rich biodiversity and favourable physiographical position and conditions for bird inhabitation.
The current observation of a winter bird’s breeding activities in summer is of academic significance in studying the change of water birds’ habitats and taking measures for protecting migratory birds and wetland reserves.
Categories: Nature & Green Energy