Monday, February 22, 2016

Mallard Duck Courtship and-and Mating

Pair of Mallards
It is winter and is the time for ducks to choose their mates.  The drake ducks perform their courtship ritual for the females since the female who chooses, with whom she wants to mate.

Mallards have a couple of different courtship behaviors such as head-pumping, head-up-tail-up, nod-swimming and grunt-whistle.  The other day when I was at Jenney Pond, I observed both a hen and drake mallard doing head-pumping right in front of me.  They would dip their beak into the water, bring it up with the water drops dripping from the beak.  When that was concluded the mallards perform their mating ritual, which has the drake holding on to the head of the female keeping her submerged.

Mallards Performing Head-Pumping
Mallards Performing Head-Pumping
Mallards Performing Head-Pumping
Mallards Performing Head-Pumping
Mallards Mating
Mallards Mating
Mallards Mating
Mallards Mating
Mallards Mating
The reason I knew this would happen is not only just photographing the subjects but also paying attention to their behavior.  The more you know about the behavior the more you know what to look for and be prepared for in order to capture the picture.