Monday, June 28, 2010

Ring-necked Duck Drama

This evening a ring-necked duck hen accompanied by 10 active youngsters was minding her own business at the west end of Maxwell Lake. Then she was ambushed by 2 aggressive males. They chased her and wouldn't leave her alone. At one point one of the males climbed on her back, perhaps in an attempt to mate. Her brood was scattered, although they didn't seem to mind and continued to catch insects along the shoreline and over the lily pads. The photo shows the males, the female, and one duckling in a calmer moment. Eventually the female retreated to the sedges and the males flew over to the beaver pond. I checked again about 15 minutes later and 6 ducklings were still foraging. The others and the female were probably out of sight in the sedges.

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