strange duck actions

Subject: strange duck actions
From: Robert Davis <>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:49:48
I recently observed some strange behaviour with Pacific Black Ducks. A
breeding pair (or at least a male chasing a female) were observed at a
local wetland. The male was chasing the female around the lake, paddling
furiously behind her. What intrigued me however, was that as he followed
her, he constantly dipped his beak in and out ofthe water, all the time
remaining only a meter or so behind the female. I also observed this action
in another wetland with two other ducks 9also Pacific Black Ducks).

My hypothesis is that perhaps the female duck was stirring up nutrients by
the paddling of her feet, and the male was following in her wake and taking
advantage of this food source. Alternatively, could it be some sort of
mating ritual?

Any thoughts?



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