Ivan Koslov: Crested Shelduck
Artist: Ivan Koslov
The Crested Shelduck was last officially spotted in 1971. Thus, there is little hope that this bird survives today. Named for the tuft that flows from its head, the Crested Shelduck was believed to inhabit northeast Asia, but unfortunately, little is known about this unique species. Interestingly, representations of this scarce bird appear in both Chinese and Japanese works of art. In fact, these pictures indicate that as early as the 19th century this duck was already something of a curiosity and seemingly rare. Some conservationists still believe that this bird may continue to thrive in remote areas of the world. With just three documented sightings of Crested Shelducks during this century, information about breeding, habitat and voice calls is unknown. However, descriptions of the Crested Shelduck have been fairly consistent for both the adult male and female (no juveniles have been spotted). According to these sources, the drake's crown, drooping crest, upper mantle and breast are greenish-black. This species also possesses wings with white and black flight feathers interspersed with greenish-black plumes. The female's general coloring is more subdued. Its breast and body are mostly brown with gray underparts, while the hen's head has a dark green crown and a drooping crest. A distinctive white ring around each eye readily distinguishes the female from male Crested Shelducks.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® Combination First Day Cover for the 1995 Russia Duck Conservation Stamp and Russian 500R Crested Shelduck stamp issued September 1, 1995.
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