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greylag, greylag goose
(Anser anser), a goose of the family Anatidae. The body is 85–100 cm long and weighs 3–6 kg. The plumage is gray, and the bill and feet are pink. Greylags are distributed in Europe and Asia. In the USSR the geese range from Estonia to the Primor’e, but they are most common in the Azov region, in the deltas of the Volga, Amu Darya, and Syr Darya rivers, in Kazakhstan, and in southwestern Siberia. The birds winter in southern Europe, southwestern Asia, and northern Africa. They settle along lakeshores and in river floodlands with dense thickets of reed. Their nests are on mounds or piles of reed. A clutch contains four to ten eggs, which are incubated by the female for 27 or 28 days. Both parents care for the young. Greylags feed on aquatic and terrestrial plants; they often fly to fields and feed on the seeds and shoots of cereal grains. The greylag is the ancestor of a number of breeds of domestic geese. It is often hunted.