Common in the middle belt of the European part of the country, in the Delta of the Volga, across the southern part of Western Siberia – in the Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Omsk, and Tyumen regions, on the Baraba lowland and the South of Krasnoyarsk region.
Far to the North of the grey duck and Mallard, not flies. Inhabits plains overgrown with reeds and reeds and Islands.
Swims well, dives only during molting or being wounded, from the water rises easily, can take off almost vertically. Flight is fast, several fidgety. In flight, similar to the Mallard. Grey flying ducks loud but somewhat quieter than mallards. In flight, birds often Pokracovat. The voice of the male resembles the cry of a crow. A female voice similar to the voice of mallards.
Lifestyle grey duck is very close to the Mallard. Most common in forest-steppe and steppe. On nesting gray duck fly, when spring is already thoroughly come into its own. Rich settles on the reeds shallow freshwater and brackish lakes with rich aquatic vegetation, and small lakes of river valleys.
Forest lakes gray duck avoids it. During the span going in large flocks of fifteen to twenty birds. The span is usually in the daytime.
Gray duck is a large bird, somewhat smaller than mallards, the weight of 0.8-1.3 kg. body Length of about 55 cm Body type similar to a Mallard but slimmer her.
The male in spring the head and neck brownish-grey, back brown, back part of the body is dark, the sides are grey, the tail white. Craw and breast are blackish-grey with scaly pattern. The mirror without blue-green metallic sheen, tri-color: the bottom is grayish-brown, then velvety-black and white at the top.
The female is dark brown, differs from similar to it of female mallards with white mirrors. Male in summer coloring similar to the female, differs from it only in black waist. Legs in both sexes are dirty-yellow, with dark webbed feet, a beak of the male is grey, female is greenish-yellow. Downy chick is grey duck similar to the Mallard chick. Hatch usually in late April – early may. Pairs are formed on wintering grounds.
Monogam. Usually during the mating season of about one females are kept for several drakes.
The nest is on the ground among last year’s vegetation, often far from water. It is a shallow hole about 10-12 cm, carefully lined with dry grass and copiously lined with down. The clutch is usually nine or eleven white with a yellowish or olive tint of the eggs.
On the nest the female sits after will carry the last egg. The incubation lasts twenty-seven or twenty-eight days. On the nest the female sits very closely and leaves it very rarely.
Drakes after the females sit on the nest, continue to stay close to hatching, then leave brood and fly away to moult. Such attachment of males to the females – the most characteristic feature of grey ducks. Hatched Chicks as soon as they dry, the female leads on the nearest body of water. During these transitions some of the nestlings are killed by different predators.
A characteristic feature of the behavior of gray ducks in this period is that females, translating broods are combined: it helps to better protect nestlings from attack.
The timing of oviposition, incubation and hatching have gray ducks compared to mallards shifted by eighteen to twenty days. However, the maturation of the Chicks is very fast, and by the end of July they’re coming up on the wing.
Gray duck – mainly herbivorous bird. Animal food: molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic insects and birds use mainly in the summer. The Chicks in the initial period also feed primarily on animal feed, mainly larvae of various insects. Of vegetable most consumed green parts of aquatic plants, their seeds and rhizomes. In the grain fields as Mallard, grey duck usually does not fly, but in some cases the birds may occasionally feed on millet fields.
The number of grey ducks everywhere lower than Mallard. The lack of sufficient discretion, such as mallards, significant vulnerability during reproduction (deaths clutches as the result of human activities in the coastal zone, as well as from predators), the decline in the quality of feed due to contamination of the shallow waters are the main habitats of the species – mineral fertilizers and pesticides flowing down from the surrounding salhotra in the reservoirs, which significantly degrades the habitat for grey duck.
Is affecting the number of gray ducks open spring hunting. Credulity birds, without precaution podshivalsya to decoys or decoy, with a high attachment to each other, the male and female, a little different in color, lead to the fact that they most often fall under the shot. When shooting one bird of the pair after the second shot is usually returned to the place where he was shot first and also gets shot.
At the commercial value is inferior Mallard grey duck, however, is an important object of rifle hunting.
From nesting gray duck Mallard fly off before. Departure goes unnoticed, however, by the end of September a large part of the grey ducks already fly off to their wintering grounds.
Grey ducks winter primarily in the Mediterranean, Iran, Pakistan, India.