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A Pair of Mallards and their Habits

It's been said that older married people tend to take on some of the habits of their spouses. It seems that this is also true of ducks; they sometimes act in symphony. We came across this mated pair one day as they were floating down the spring meltwater. They paused in a larger open area and spent about twenty minutes there doing what ducks do. This series of four photos shows how often they do the same activity at the same time. I hadn't realized this until I looked at the group of pictures I had, and then it seemed rather obvious.

Here the two are simply floating in the water but seem to be paired. They apparently position themselves in relation to each other even when they aren't actually doing something together.

The common activity of feeding is often done in concert even when interspersed with other activities.

Here is what looks like a strange activity having no particular purpose. Both male and female have their heads and bodies tilted as they glide along - a kind of dance.

The common habit of preening themselves is also done simultaneously by this mated pair.

The Ways of Birds

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Copyright ©1996 Judi Schiller, Richard Schiller

Aug. 27, 1996