The wild merganser duck or also commonly called duck cormorant or wisper is a well-known species in Russia and the CIS countries. On our territory there are two main subspecies: the large common merganser and the large Himalayan. The latter has a slightly smaller size and poorer plumage. Consider this species of ducks in more detail.
Little merganser is a rather large duck, which intensively gains weight for the winter and can weigh about 2 kilograms. In our country, the most common subspecies of the great common merganser. Especially often these ducks can be seen in the Urals, Altai, on Lake Baikal and on the Kola Peninsula. It settles mainly in the eastern, northern and some central zones of Russia.
Of course, like all wild ducks, the merganser does not hibernate at home, he chooses warm countries outside the CIS. Although sometimes in winter it can be found on the Azov Sea, off the coast of Primorye, on Kamchatka. For example, in the late autumn during the flight of these birds in the amount of one and a half thousand they are regularly observed on the Rybinsk reservoir.
Coloring of a krokhalya depends on a season. For example, in spring in birds it is the brightest and most beautiful. Males have black plumage on the head and on the upper part of the neck with a bright green tint. The lower part of the neck, as well as the goiter and chest, are white with an elegant reddish tinge. The upper back and wings are black, but the rest of the body and tail are gray. The beak is red, the paws are orange, and also the light color of the eyes. See the photo for more details.
Females have a light colored feathers. The head and neck are of a reddish-brown color, the throat and the lower part of the sternum are whitish. The tail is painted in a light gray color, the sides and the entire upper part of the body are colored. The entire lower body, and this abdomen and sternum - white. On the wings, like the male, there is a large white spot.
The beak of females is not very bright, slightly orange, like the paws. Also on the head, the upper feathers form a small tuft, as seen in the photo. In summer, the color of bird feathers becomes not so motley and bright, therefore males practically do not differ from females, except for plumage of wings.
Features of breeding and habitat of birds
Little merganser is a migratory duck. For winter, warm birds migrate around October-November. In some warm regions of the country, they live in reservoirs right up to freezing. They arrive at places early, already at the end of February - at the beginning of March they can be found in the central part of the country. In the spring, birds arrive at small nesting sites in small groups, usually ten to twenty individuals. What can not be said about the winter flight, when the birds gather in huge flocks of several hundred.
The krokhal builds nests on lakes and rivers with clear clear water. They love more mountainous terrain than plains. Although it all depends on the subspecies of the bird. For example, the smallest in size krakhal lotok settles in the forest zone throughout the country.
Ducks arrive in places for incubation and rearing of their offspring in pairs. After they build nests, mate games and lay eggs. During one laying the female can produce from 10 to 30 eggs. Often their number reaches 40. The hatching period lasts 32 days. A female builds a nest for babies, but the male is nearby in the first days.
Chicks develop very slowly, and begin to raise wings only after 60-70 days after hatching. Since the bird feeds mainly on fish, its meat has a not very attractive smell and taste, so the krokhal is popular with hunters solely due to its beautiful plumage.
This subspecies of ducks has a slightly smaller size compared to a larger species, but in general, there is practically no difference in color and mode of life. Long-nosed krohal settles throughout the territory of the tundra and in the forests of Eurasia.
As we have said, this is the smallest subspecies of merganser. It lives in the forest zone of the country, preferring dense thickets and trees instead of ponds and coastal zones. The plumage of both males and females is predominantly white with black, gray, and brown marks. The way of life and reproduction does not differ from all other types of ducks.