Sheldrake, any bird or the genus Tadorna, of the Duck family, with seven species, from the Palaearctic and Australian regions. The hind-toe is free and in the male there is a frontal knob at the base of the bill. The Common Sheldrake (T. cornuta or 1)vulpanser) is one of the most beautiful of the family. The head and neck are dark glossy green; this colouring is separated by a white collar from a broad band of bright bay, and the rest of the plumage is black and white, with some grey. about 2 feet long; the female is somewhat smaller, and has the colour less brilliant. It is found on sandy coasts in Britain, and usually nests in a rabbit hole, whence its local name Burrow-duck. The Ruddy Sheldrake (T. rutila) is a rare visitor.