Any Freckled Duck experts out there ?
A correspondent of this mailing list wondered if my observation of a FD
drinking could in
fact just been dibbling (sic)
This has now forced me to do some checking of dibbling and dabbling.
I looked up the Dictionaries of Newton, Landsborough Thompson, and Campbell &
don't mention the words.
Cox and also Weaver do.
Weaver's "The Bird-watcher's Dictionary" is available on line at
In fact look at http://birdcare.com/bin/showdict?dabbling+duck
then click the links to
.. surface dipping (Immersing the head and neck in the water without upending
The duck I saw, as it paddled along slowly, just lowered the front (flattened )
its beak into the water then raised its head right up to apparently swallow the
(Just as I do to swallow a pill !)
The water at this depth appeared to be free of any surface growth.
When it was standing and feeding on the edge of the grassed area its beak was
going up and
down rapidly into the mud, obviously feeding. It did not raise its head. And it
exhibit a scything motion as described in Hanzab.
Hanzab says under "behaviour" ..
" wade in shallow water less than 5cm, taking most food by bottom filtering,
very shallow water or soft muds. Method called suzzling. Bill held just above
scything from side to side. Rapid pumping movements of tongue cause food
particles to be
sucked in near tip and stream of water expelled from upper sides of recurved
Also surface filter while swimming, peck and sweep up floating food; nibble at
algae-covered logs ...etc "
Hanzab ref is Vol 1 Part B, p1160-1173 (Food is p1163)
"suzzling" is from P.J.Fullagar, Wildfowl 41 Is this a UK publication ?
access to it ?
The bird when "drinking ?" was in water greater than 5cm. Temp at the time was
Is there anything more we can add to Hanzab ?
Any responses about their feeding pattern will be welcome.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
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