This 63-73 cm long species breeds widely in Great Britain has a self-sustaining feral population, dating back to the 18th century, though only formally added to the British list in 1971. In Britain, it is found mainly in East Anglia, in parkland with lakes.
This is a largely terrestrial species, which will also perch readily on trees and buildings. It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck, whence the English name.
This is a territorial species in the breeding season, and will nest in a large variety of situations.
The sexes of this striking species are identical in plumage, though the males average slightly larger. There is a fair amount of variation in plumage tone, with some birds greyer and others browner, but this is not sex or age related.
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