• May 31, 2018

the Grey duck – a bird from family duck. It is considered one of the most ordinary ducks of Eurasia and North America. This is that bird whom all so got used to see in city reservoirs and to feed up grain crumbs. In appearance not remarkable, this duck nevertheless has the way of life other than her many "relatives".

Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction
the Grey duck – a bird from the утиных

Характеристика family of a look

The gray duck treats the sort Anas which includes types known to all шилохвост, свиязь, a kryakva, a shirokonoska.

the Description of a duck gray can be submitted as follows:

  1. Waterfowl of average parameters. Its sizes are between a teal and kryakvy. Length of a body keeps within an interval from 46 to 57 cm, the wingspan on average reaches 90 cm
  2. Males are slightly larger than females, they weigh from 0.8 to 1 kg, and females as it happens at such birds, more small. The average weight of females reaches 0.7 kg.
  3. The gray duck received such name not because really has monophonic gray color. It is possible to find dark brown and beige shades in its color. However in plumage there are no contrast bright spots. If to look from far away, then the duck really looks sulfur.
  4. The sexual dimorphism is expressed, but is weak. Differences are shown mainly during the marriage period. During search of the marriage partner the back of a male gets not only gray, but also white colors. Also the lower body brightens. The head becomes more red with light spots. The breast, a craw, the lower part of a neck and a side are painted in a black-and-white strip. On wings white pocket mirrors are formed. It is possible to distinguish a male from a female and on a voice. At a male shout, as at a raven – deep and sonorous. The female, as well as befits a duck, grunts, only at her kryakanye there are bitter sounds.
  5. Paws at these ducks yellow with dark membranes.
Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction
the Grey duck – a bird осторожная

Образ lives and conditions of dwelling

The gray duck during nesting prefers to occupy open flat standing reservoirs. Usually this bird suits nests on coast of small lakes, ponds, the aged man. Nests of these ducks can meet even on the swamp provided that on this area there are let also small, but open sites of water.

this bird in shallow water – Is fed where sites with water and okolovodny grassy thickets were created. In the presence of islands prefers to steer clear of coast where there can be people and predators.

A gray duck – a bird careful. When choosing places of nesting and feeding she prefers to lodge on the open coast which did not grow with the wood and a bush.

Parents move the grown-up baby birds on large and deep lakes and reservoirs.

Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction

Seasonal migrations

During migrations and for winter parking gray ducks stop the choice on gulfs, lagoons, deltas of the big rivers.

These birds partially flying, so, their migrations strongly depend on habitats. If there is an opportunity, then this bird prefers to save forces and not to make transcontinental flights.

For example, the most part of the ducks nesting in the Baltics and in the west of the Russian Federation flies to Western Europe. Where winter soft and reservoirs do not freeze, gray ducks mix up with local representatives duck, forming big packs of waterfowl.

Such congestions of the mixed packs are recorded in the Netherlands, Ireland, France and Great Britain. For gray ducks from Iceland the South are the British Isles where it is possible to winter with comfort.

The Russian ducks who nest on reservoirs of the Volga region and the Urals for the winter fly away on the South and the southwest. The delta of Volga is considered by them as a stopover. Their further way lies on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and the western coast of the Black Sea.

Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction

Ducks who brought the ducklings on lakes of Central Asia fly over mountain systems of Central Asia, stopping on a wintering in lower reaches of the Indus River.

The Siberian ducks make distant flights too. They have nearby no warm places therefore they should fly to China, to the mouth of the Huang He River.

the Canadian population of gray ducks winters on the western coast of North America, to be exact, on space between the southern Alaska and the southern Mexico. Birds, it is more convenient to them to fly on east coast of the continent, wait winter near the northeast coast of the USA and on coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction

Main diet

All duck birds eat almost equally. The matter is that typically duck flat beak is calculated on filtering water and also to crush the green plants growing in water and on the coast.

At a gray duck food addictions are various, but nevertheless in her diet vegetable forages prevail. They complement the menu with animal food mainly during reproduction when animal protein and fats are necessary in order that there were enough forces to grow up chickens. Animal food is necessary to baby birds for rapid growth and maintenance of good health. Young ducks need it for the first time to overcome a long distance on the way to places of winterings.

enter a usual diet of gray ducks:

  • green leaves of plants;
  • any seeds are acorns, rice, soy, a cane, an acorus, jugs;
  • rhizomes of the plants which are partially shipped in water – рдест, naiads, it is full, a cane;
  • the seaweed floating in the top layers of reservoirs or growing in shallow water;
  • the insects living over water or about it;
  • the larvae of insects living in water – dragonflies, mosquitoes, etc.;
  • any worms, but mainly annulate;
  • the mollusks living in water and on the land;
  • small fish;
  • tadpoles and adult amphibians of the suitable size;
  • caviar of different types.

Baby birds eat the same food, as parents. However because of the small sizes ducklings cannot master something from the menu of adult birds. For this reason they eat mainly small invertebrate animals and plants available to them. From animal forages they consume hironomid, greblyak, water crustaceans, small worms. From plants green seaweed, a duckweed, a bekmanniya are available to small klyuvika.

of Feature of reproduction

These ducks form married couple of 1 times for the rest of life. it Occurs in the winter. In the warm regions where it is not necessary to be distracted by care of children, mating dance of polovozrely youth begins.

Young ducks begin to show interest in an opposite sex on the homeland, in parental pack. And in an early autumn the former baby birds begin to feel like adults. They are excited by independence, collecting before flight and individuals of an opposite sex. This interest in males and females, still even not reached polovozrely age, of course, is warmed up by emergence of hormones and need of implementation of instinctive programs of continuation of a duck sort.

However such prelude is a yet not sexual behavior, and something like childish sports in adulthood. Full process of the choice of couple happens only in the spring, on the eve of preparation for flights on places of nesting.

The ritual of sexual selection takes place through dance moves. The drake sitting on water who replaced already gray plumage with a marriage suit vertically extends a neck and at the same time makes the head the pulling movements. Synchronously with the head also the tail which reveals a fan moves, showing to a female and the competing males black a podkhvostya.

During such dances on water the male lets out the voronopodobny cry. In passion of a tokovaniye several males can pursue 1 female. At the same time they do a little strange movements. Each drake at this final stage of the concerning tokovaniye falls on water, defiantly sinking down 1 wing sideways. It is the last argument turned to maternal feelings of a female, it is demonstration of a wounded or sick bird – so the male urges it to regret.

Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction

This ritual makes deep meaning. Until sticking on a wing males showed the feature and also dexterity and plasticity of a body that, of course, is important for survival of a look. The female at the same time could choose only genes of force and dexterity.

After males showed the vulnerability, selection of females on ability to show maternal feelings begins already. The female with a strong instinct of maternal love will choose a male who will seem to it the most worthy of pity and the help. So there is an association in 1 genotype of force, dexterity, ingenuity and a strong maternal instinct.

If nobody prevents birds in holding rituals of sexual selection, then to places of gnezdoviya the majority of ducks flies not just by pack any more, and ready married couples. And here pairing and reproduction of ducks happens in that place where they, still being baby birds, once were born. Besides, the grown ducks try to lodge on the same reservoir.

Gray ducks prefer to do nests in small, well warmed up, it is desirable the standing and strongly grown with plants reservoirs. the Nest is placed on the earth, but is very close to water. It hides in a dense grass of coastal thickets. In such a way parents save a nest, eggs and baby birds from predators. However such placement of a nest bears in itself big risk. In the spring when a grass still dry, the fires, mostly man-made (so-called pala), destroy not only a nest, but also eggs if birds managed to postpone them.

Gray duck: distinctive signs and reproduction

As a result of a duck are often forced to build a new nest on the ashes. Only now it is visible to predators on the earth and in air. Near such nests crows begin to be on duty, waiting the moment when the samochka rises to be fed.

As a result the livestock of duck birds is strongly reduced. At the same time the baby birds who grew from eggs of the second laying fly away on a wintering still absolutely young and not prepared for such tests.

The nest of gray ducks represents a small pole (10-12 cm) in which the tray is formed. The female does it, starting up an entrance of a paw and a beak. As material for construction serve dry blades and own down which the female pulls out from a breast. The average nest in the diameter makes about 25 cm. Depth of the tray usually does not exceed 7 cm

As a rule, these ducks lay from 6 to 10 white eggs. Each of them weighs about 45 g, and in volume makes 52 x 38 mm.

Process of a nasizhivaniye begins right after an otkladka of the last egg. The female sits on a nest very densely, trying to merge with Wednesday. As a result of people or a predator can approach a nest closely, without having noticed it. Process of incubation lasts 25-28 days.

At these birds, and especially at females, the protective behavior is well developed. For baby birds they will battle against any opponent though with an elephant. In fauna not the sizes, claws and teeth, but courage, impudence and a pressure are often terrible.

Grey ducks as subject to cultivation

The term "cultivation" in relation to wild ducks can doubly be treated. They can be parted on free contents within hunting economy or to carry out domestication with contents as a farm animal. Domestication of a gray duck – process long, difficult and not always profitable. Whether it is worth being engaged in domestication of a wild bird if it was made with other types for a long time?

The sense of agricultural cultivation of a gray duck is in using her for selection work with domestic ducks. Use of a genotype of wild types for improvement of pedigree properties for a long time the cultivated animals and plants – reception which is used in selection and genetics long ago. Gray ducks are suitable for such selection perfectly. It is necessary to cultivate not a duck, but her genotype that increases viability of the ducks divorced in livestock production.

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