What are the main features of the spot billed duck?

          A spot billed duck is a duck with spots on its bill. It has two distinct spots, a yellow one at the tip of the bill and another reddish spot just in front of the eyes. It has a black crown and has black stripes around its eyes.

          The spot billed ducks prefer being on swallow lakes with vegetation. They immerse their feet under the surface of the water and move around gently, either in pairs or in small flocks.

          They manage their food in the typical ‘ducky’ way by walking about in the marshlands and paddy fields with their bills searching irregularly in the mud. They look for aquatic plants, seeds and grains. They also eat snails, insects and worms. These birds make their nests on the ground, preferably by the waterside. Up to 12 eggs can be seen in nests, which will be greyish yellow or greenish white in colour, without any markings. They are sociable by nature and love to mix with other species of ducks.

          Apart from India, grey ducks are seen in Myanmar, China and other regions of Northeast Asia.