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The Shelduck (Seil--Lacha) 5

ShelduckThe Shelduck is Ireland's largest duck. They are a large duck and like geese, they spend much of their time on land and the feathers are similar in both sexes. They have white, dark green and brown markings and in the male the red bill has a knob at the base. Shelducks live on seacoast and are especially common in the rivers that flow into the sea. This part of a river where it meets the sea is called the "estuary". 

They nest a little inland from the coast, often in an old rabbit burrow or under a rock or building. It feeds mainly on small snails and worms. After breeding groups of to 12 young. Shelducks migrate to Wadden Sea north of Germany returning to Ireland in early autumn. 

They leave Ireland in early spring. The male and female are very alike. The male is a little bit bigger thean the female and has a little knob on top of his bright red bill.

The stamp was issued in Phase 2 on August 27th. 1997.

Written by ---: Paul O'Sullivan

Click on the stamp to listen to the bird sound