[Tweeters] Female ducks fighting over babies?

Susan Anderegg susananderegg at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 15 09:52:32 PDT 2008

Howdy tweeters

yesterday I saw two female ducks that appeared to be fighting over ducklings. One, presumably the biological parent, was swimming in a pond with her three tiny ducklings. Another female landed in the pond close to the little family. The mother paddled quickly over to the intruder, with her beak open and hissing. Then the two females started fighting in the water, wings flapping as they lunged at each other. They both took flight and were fighting in the air, one trying to bite the other and hitting each other with wings and feet. They began a long chase, flying around over the pond, disappearing then returning. Several minutes later the intruder landed on the ground close to the pond and was chased into some bushes by the parent. Finally it appeared that the intruder had left and the parent returned to her chicks.

A short time later the two birds were again seen chasing each other through the air.

Has anyone ever seen this type of behavior? Could the intruder actually be trying to "kidnap" the ducklings of another duck? I'm assuming she lost her babies to predation.

Looking forward to any replies.

susananderegg at hotmail dot com

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