Crimson dolphin is a waterfowl of medium size. The mass of adults is up to 1.6 kg. An excellent diver, can stay under water for up to 6 minutes and swim up to 150 meters.
Food – underwater vegetation. Environmentally legible. It lives in fresh and clean water basins with running water. A very cautious bird, when a danger occurs, dives instantly, it can already come out of sight from the hunter’s side.
The chord of the wing is narrow, the wing elongation is average, as a result, the aerodynamic load on the wing is large. Flying a little, but at a very high speed. The structure of the paws is peculiar, it does not resemble either the classical waterfowl or the mowing types of bird paws.
The bird is tailless. In flight, an ‘interesting’ structure of the paws serves as an aerodynamic rudder (instead of a tail).
Distributed almost throughout the continent of Eurasia, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. To the north it occurs up to the southern regions of the tundra. Significant in the Trans-Volga, Trans-Urals, Western Siberia. Inhabits large, relatively open deep ponds with rich vegetation.
In spring, at the nesting site, the crested duck comes flying after the mallard and the broad-leaved one, almost simultaneously with the red-headed duck, already in pairs, which are formed in adult birds on wintering grounds, and in young birds during the spring migration to the nesting sites.
Tufted duck – medium-sized duck, its weight varies from 0.5 to 1.4 kg. Length 45 cm. A distinctive feature are elongated feathers on the nape, forming a braid, which in males is longer than in females. The tail is short.
In males in the nuptial dress of the side of the body, the belly and mirror on the wings are white, the rest of the body is black, the head with a blue-green metallic tint. The female is similar in color to that of the male, but all black tones are replaced by reddish-brown, the tuft on the nape is relatively weak, the belly is white, and white spots on the sides of the head at the base of the beak. In males, the upper and the front part of the body are black in the summer, without shine.
Beak is gray (in a male with a bluish tinge and black claw). Legs gray with black membranes. The downy chick from the crested blacks is greenish brown on top, the chest and throat are rusty-white, the tail is brownish-gray.
From the water, the crested duck lifts heavily, along an oblique line, but it flies quickly and maneuverably enough. It swims well and dives well, often to a depth of four to five meters, remaining under water up to thirty to forty seconds; to sit on the ground avoids. Quite silent bird: the male makes a quiet cooing, the voice of the female – a rough and hoarse quack, similar to the voice of a female red-headed dive.
Soon after the arrival at the nesting sites, marriage games begin. Nest crested duck can arrange both on the shore, in close proximity to water, and on a pond: on cane debris, hummocks, alloys, floating in the water of small islets. The jack of the crested chertony is like a nest of a red-headed dive. After building the nest, the female starts laying eggs. In full laying, there are usually six to nine greenish eggs. The female sits on the nest for twenty-three to twenty-five days.
Male does not take any part in hatching and rearing chicks and after a while leaves the nesting area. Most of the drakes of the crested chertony fly away shedding at the lakes of Western Siberia. Downy chicks are born in the second half of June or in July.
The mother, who has dried her nest for a day, descends to the water. Young people are already able from the first minutes to dive and hide in case of danger among the above-water vegetation. The brood is kept together with the female until the young ones lean on and rise to the wing. Soon after, individual broods are united in schools. Usually this happens by the end of August. The timing of molting in crested blacks is the same as that of a red-headed dive.
Tufted duck is almost exclusively an animal-eating duck. It feeds mainly on mollusks, small fishes, larvae of caddis flies, chironomids, extracting them in bottom mud, sometimes at great depths. Vegetable feed uses in small amounts, as an admixture to the animal feed, especially when there is a lack of food.
The quality of the crested cherry meat is much inferior to the meat of river ducks and the red-headed duck. However, the specific weight of crested blacks in the production of waterfowl is quite large, primarily due to the high number and relative simplicity of hunting for it.
The crested stagnation departs from the nesting grounds late, usually just before the freeze-up. It hibernates mainly in the Caspian and Black Seas, in Spain, in India in Japan.
After pickling, you can bake, fry or cook. To the taste, gently-melting-pleasant meat of game, completely ‘not giving away’ a slime or swamp.
After reading the last reports of Chanson and Diver about hunting (at the beginning of September), I also decided to carve out half a day of time and to drive on a quick hunt.
Officially open hunting season (first covered for bird flu, but then reopened).
Place of hunting. South of Kazakhstan.
Check out time. Resurrection, 12 o’clock in the afternoon.
Removal to hunting grounds: 45 – 50 km from the city.
Number of people. I am alone, plus a photo tripod (for assistance in photographing).