Saturday, December 05, 2020

Dueling Ducks … a repeat from 2007

 In 1964 my husband and I and our three children were living in New York City. We would take regular trips to the country and on one of these jaunts we fell in love with a lake front property with a large home and boathouse. We loved the city but felt that the children would be better served in the country so we bought that property and made the transition to "small town, USA".

It was a culture shock, to say the least, but we loved the sounds and sights of the lake. In many ways it was actually noisier than the city. The night critters kept up a constant hum and during the day we would watch all sorts of water fowl and other wildlife. We thought we were attuned to these sounds until one Spring morning when we were awakened before dawn by a strange, loud noise.

It was difficult to place where it came from, but it sounded very much like the rustling of many newspapers. As the dawn brightened we were able to discern three ducks in the water very close to shore. Two of the ducks were fighting...the thrashing of their wings and their bodies colliding were producing the strange rustling sounds.

The other duck was at a discreet distance...aloof to the whole sordid affair and we finally deduced what was happening. Obviously these were two male ducks fighting for the attention of the fair, feathery maiden. We watched in amazement as the battle played out and finally one of the ducks gave up and skulked off.

The duck-duel was over and the winner could claim his prize. I don't know what we expected at this point...perhaps a tender touching of bills or a graceful encircling of two ducks in ecstasy. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The male duck swam behind the female and proceeded to prod and nudge her on her feathered rump. He was anything but gentle as he pushed her along toward the middle of the lake for one and all to see. "After all", he seemed to be saying, "I am the conqueror and to the conqueror go the spoils........"

(A note to readers… if you haven't checked out “Travels with Birds” blog have a look … it is amazing and I learn something new every time I check in. This silly 2007 re-post shows how far I've had to go.)


Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Had to laugh at the unromantic duck. I was once visiting a friend on their farm when I saw two ducks fighting. I grabbed a nearby garden hose and sprayed them till they stopped. My friend was laughing hard but also a bit aghast. Seems they weren't fighting but mating. Kind of hard to tell the difference isn't it?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

I observed a similar situation this past year. I had a photo before I realized what was going on!

I love David’s blog too.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

The lady was very nonchalant about the whole thing, even afterwards, apaprently.

4:14 AM  
Blogger David M. Gascoigne, said...

Thanks for the link to my blog; it is greatly appreciated. As for the carryings on of the ducks you were very observant. As you noted, in the avian world there are few formalities, no birthdays to remember, no Valentine's Day chocolates - just get on with the business of procreation and passing on the genes to the next generation.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Joared said...

Interesting tale -- all business -- so matter of fact -- let's just get on with it!

11:37 PM  

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