The Ruddy Shelduck is a distinctive species, 58-70 cm long with a 110-135 cm wingspan. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers. It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck. The sexes of this striking species are similar, but the male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck in the breeding season summer, and the female often has a white face patch. The call is a loud wild honking.In captivity this species is generally aggressive and antisocial and is best housed in pairs unless in a very large area. Then it may mix with other species, although it will still be feisty at breeding time.