A grebe duck from the grebe-like order of waterfowl is the only one of its kind that got its name because of the specific taste quality of its meat, which has an unpleasant fish smell.
- About the toadstool breed
- Distribution geography
- Behavioral features
- Nesting and breeding
About the toadstool breed
Often accepted as ducks, grebes are not really such ones, they form a different, separate class of birds and differ from the duck family in appearance. Nevertheless , representatives of this species are often called duck toadstool. in European territory, the species is a large grebe duck, otherwise called a chomga.
The size of the chomga is slightly smaller than a classic duck. Its height ranges from 23 to 75 cm, its weight is from about 120 to 1500 g. a thin neck and a slightly elongated straight beak. The photo shows the distinctive features of the chomga, which are characteristic of the overall appearance of the grebe:
- red-colored collar wrapping around the neck – a visiting card of a bird,
- brown-red back,
- cervical region, head region and abdomen are painted white.
In spring, a pair of bundles of dark feathers grow on the chomga, which in the photo look like small ears. In winter, such a decoration (as well as a collar) cannot be seen in a bird.
Geography of distribution
The bird chose all continents as its habitat, except for Antarctica only. She prefers to settle in the tropics in areas with a temperate and subpolar climate. To the north of the Arctic Circle, you can see only one representative from the order of grebe-like – Red-necked. The remaining species have not been developed by such far polar regions.
The geography of the distribution of the great grebe is limited to separate islands, for example, Madagascar and New Zealand. Sometimes it is found in Africa.
Some species, such as the short-winged rolandland, the Atitlan grebe and Tachanovsky grebe, limited themselves to separate lakes located on the South American continent. Five species of the described ducks live in Russia: chomga, horned, black-necked, gray-cheeked and small.
For their nesting, grebes prefer closed ponds and shallow lakes, where there is no sandy bottom and no currents. In rare cases, they can be found on slowly flowing rivers. Only two representatives of the order of grebe-like ones – Magellanova and Western – preferred sea bays for themselves. South American birds picked up lakes located at an altitude of up to 4 km. Chomgu can be seen on artificial ponds, and the Central European grebes have long mastered the city ponds.
Inhabitants of the tropics and subtropics tend to be settled, moving exclusively to nearby sea coasts. Among inhabitants of temperate climatic regions, migratory grebes are more common, which migrate during the nesting period in huge flocks, numbering from 20 to 750 thousand birds.
Chomga swim without much hunting, although they know how to do it quickly.
The voice sounds of most grebes, including the chomga, have many variations, but there are silent representatives, including the Australian grebe. Most often you can hear the voice of duck toadstools during the mating season and when birds show aggression.
Some grebes have up to 12 different sound combinations in their arsenal. – They are lovers of the daytime lifestyle, but sometimes they can be active at night in bright moonlight.
As a rule, solitary living is more suitable for grebes, only when the mating season and nesting season occur, they stray in pairs and in winter can live small in groups. Only a few, for example, a tadpole, a silver look, a western one, prefer a different way of activity and life and remain in the colonies.
Nesting and breeding
A duck can fly to European accommodation in the period from March to April.Most mating games of birds occur on the water surface, when males observe the established strict ritual of courtship for the female. At the same time, the chomghs swim towards the plumage, which has spread out in the area of the collar, shaking his head, closely approaching each other. Standing upright, they resemble penguins in their pose, offering algae bundles in their beaks as a gift.Grebe DuckDuck PogankaGrebe duck
The floating house for nesting at the chomga in diameter is 0.6 m.The nest is built up to 0.8 m high. The ovipositor of the chomga counts up to 4 eggs of pure white color, the shell of which after a while from the nearby rotting vegetation, the greater part of which are reeds, takes on a brownish hue.
The chicks newly appeared on the 24th day after they can swim for a short time.