Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring's coming, I promise: American Black Duck

I’ve seen Mallards in spring time court. They will start by bobbing their heads up and down and then they get down to business. I was at Bass Rocks checking out a potential photo and watching a group of mallards. There was a pair of American Black ducks and they started to bob their heads up and down. By the time I got the camera out of the bag and focused, the male was dismounting the female.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

The male was puffing himself up as the female came back to the surface.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Then he did something that I’ve never seen before, he started to do a victory lap around the female.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

The female, after being practically submerged fluffs out her feathers. This is something I’ve seen the female Mallards do. It should be noted that the Mallards and Black Ducks are of the Genus Anas and are closely related and do interbreed so it does not surprise me that their courtship behaviors are similar.
©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

For field marks, you can clearly see the difference in bill color between the male and the female in these shots.

13 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Awesome photos!! Very interesting. I am going to have to keep my eyes open to see if I can catch this myself.

madcobug said...

This is a very good series of shots. Helen

Kerri said...

Interesting post! I've never seen them "getting down to business" before.

NCmountainwoman said...

Boy, that guy seems proud of himself. Victory lap indeed.

Kelly said...

...I've never seen that victory lap before either. In the third photo, he looks like something out of a cartoon! Great photos...

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Bad luck there Steve, sorry you missed the action. :)

A New England Life said...

I thought he was trying to drown her at first. lol! He's one excited duck!

Roy said...

You can definitely see the likeness to a Mallard Steve.

Craig Glenn said...

I really like those black ducks. I hope to see on myself soon.

Craig

Tabib said...

Great picture, courtship /mating documentation.
I wonder how the cloacals contact underwater.

The Early Birder said...

Another peice of wildlife action & wonderment well captured Steve.

Eve said...

Being a female duck is rough, but that victory lap probably makes it all worth while...I would love to see his little feet paddling 100 mph!

Mary said...

"Victory lap?" LOL

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