Mallards Attack!

Rolan Nelson rnbuffle at
Sun Jan 6 08:41:40 PST 2002

Mary, I have seen this behavior with mallards more
than once, and usually at this time of year. I have
always been impressed that the defending male tends to
be so aggressive, not just driving off the offender,
but persuing him at some length.

Rolan Nelson, Burley rnbuffle at
--- MaryK <bassclef at> wrote:

> Yesterday up at Green Lake I saw something in the

> duck world I'd never

> before witnessed. A pair of Mallards were cruising

> around the lake, behind

> the theater near the diving platform(s). Two drakes

> flew in and landed in

> the water near them. One of drakes apparently took

> a liking to Ms. Mallard

> and started towards her. This raised Mr. Mallard's

> ire. He immediately

> lunged towards the Interloper and attacked. At one

> point Mr. was atop the

> Interloper w/his bill around the Interloper's neck,

> and it appeared that he

> was trying to drown him--he kept trying to push the

> other's neck in the

> lake, and succeeded a few times. The Interloper

> escaped, only to fly off

> w/the Mr. in hot pursuit. The two swooped around

> the lake for a bit (in

> close formation, but I didn't see any air-to-air

> combat), then both landed

> but didn't continue their battle. Ms. then started

> quacking, and Mr. went

> over to join her. Soon thereafter the Interloper

> once again starting

> cruising towards Ms. M, but Mr. again attacked him,

> not quite so viciously

> this time, and the Interloper backed off quickly.

> I'm assuming this was

> defending-the-pair-bond behavior or something. Wow.

> I'd never seen a duck

> try to drown another before. Fascinating.


> Mary Klein

> Seattle WA

> BassClef at


Rolan Nelson
Burley, WA
rnbuffle at

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