Dwells in the zone of steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. Breeds in the Volga region, Bashkortostan Republic, southern Urals, Western Siberia. Common in the mountain steppes of the Altai, the Minusinsk steppes in Tuva.
Flies to nest with the first signs of spring. In the valley of the ili river and in the Delta of the Volga shelducks appear at the end of the first decade of March, in Northern Kazakhstan on the border with Russia and in southern Transbaikalia – at the end of March – beginning of April. Usually fly in flocks consisting of three to four pairs or single pairs, which are formed usually on the wintering grounds and continue for several years. Settle in abandoned burrows of foxes, Korsakov, marmots, sometimes in abandoned katalinich and even in barns. In the Minusinsk steppes have been known to nest in hollows Ogar larches. Not uncommon for nests of ruddy shelducks was located three or four kilometers from the lakes.
The ruddy Shelduck is a large duck. Weight up to 1.5 kg. as well as Shelduck, refers to a group of earthen ducks.
The plumage of adult birds is mainly reddish-brown with lighter top of the wings, the head and neck. The tail and flight feathers are black with a greenish tint. On the wings of the mirror are greenish and the bill and legs are black, eyes dark brown. Males differ from females by brighter color of the plumage of the head and the neck a narrow black collar.
Shelducks most of the time spend on land. Well go on the ground and run fast, swim freely, but dive only in case of danger. The flight is smooth, strong, with a few flaps of their wings, like those of a goose. Birds are very noisy. Voice, sound, like the moaning sound: “ang-ang”.
The ruddy Shelduck is a very cautious bird. Water shelducks are connected only during the emergence of brood. Adult birds can be found far from bodies of water in the desert, dried lakes, steep river banks and in open areas.
Monogam. The nest arranged primitive, but always with a lot of fluff. The clutch is from eight to twelve eggs of a yellowish color. The incubation lasts twenty-eight to thirty days. In rearing broods attended by both parents. Broods stay together with the parents before the departure.
The food composition of ruddy shelducks are omnivorous. In the food are seeds and parts of plants, mollusks, worms, frogs, fish and even carrion. In shallow water, lacking food, placing the body vertically.
Commercial value is small. Meat Ogar tasteless, partly, apparently, because the bird feeds on carrion.
From the regions of Central Russia shelducks migrate to wintering areas from mid-September. Red ducks wintering on the Mediterranean, in Central Asia, on the southern shore of the Caspian sea.
In the CIS countries shelducks are pretty popular. Their breeding range includes Central Kazakhstan, Semirechye, the Republic of Tuva, Transbaikalia, southern Turkmenistan, Armenia, the steppe zone from the Volga to the Terek, and also some regions of Siberia. Smaller they are breeding in the Delta of the Kuban, the don and the Volga, in middle current of Ural, Ishim steppe, and some other areas.
The ruddy Shelduck breeds in lakes and rivers, preferring hilly places and avoiding overgrown ponds. They love and salt lakes, and mountain reservoirs. Winter mainly in Africa and South Asia. Red wintering ducks occur in South-Eastern Transcaucasia, in the valleys of the Atrek rivers and in other parts of Turkmenistan, and also in small quantities on the territory of South Tajikistan.
The flight to the nesting places red ducks starts quite early, usually in March – April. Departure for wintering takes place in September and October, and in autumn, before migration, shelducks often gather on the salt lakes in large flocks. To the nesting places red ducks fly always broken into pairs. There is speculation that the ducks are joined in pairs for a few years. In the spring breeding areas it is possible to see courtship and mating flights.
Shelducks nest in burrows arrange various steppe animals (foxes, badgers, wild cats), old cemeteries, abandoned buildings, and sometimes even in barns and attics of houses. In the lower reaches of the Volga river red ducks dig long burrows in the clay cliffs. Sometimes there are open slots. In Siberia the red duck nests were found placed in tree holes at a height of sometimes up to 10 meters from the ground.
In literature the description of the nests of ruddy shelducks, located in residential atnarko foxes (Spangenberg). Assume that such a strange neighborhood ended for the red duck safely only because of her loud hiss during incubation, which resembled the hissing of a large snake and scare away foxes.
The number of eggs in a clutch varies from eight to twelve, sometimes more than that. Eggs Ogar is quite large, ivory. The period of incubation lasts about four weeks. There is an assumption that the incubation period takes part and Drake.
Ducklings are developing quite fast, they run, swim and dive. Having sharp claws, the ducklings are pretty easy to climb to a height of one meter, where freely without any harm to himself, jump.
Caring for offspring involves both parents; they very jealously guard the ducklings and stay with them for as long as young shelducks do not rise on the wing. With the appearance of danger duck takes the young in safe places, and Drake boldly swooped down on the enemy, sometimes very dangerous. Often there have been cases of attacks by males Ogar even white-tailed eagles.
Red ducks eat both animal and plant food. Ducks molt twice a year. Meat Ogar in the summer months, i.e. during the period when its main food is animal food has an unpleasant smell, but in the fall, after migrating birds for the most part on vegetable food, meat gets you high taste.
Red ducks if they do not pursue systematically- rather trusting birds. Caught young, they quickly become accustomed to humans, are resistant to captivity and become quite tame. Earlier in Bulgaria Ogar bred as poultry.