Gulls and Ducks
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Gulls and Ducks

 
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Jack Aubrey
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 513
Location: Camptoun, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Gulls and Ducks Reply with quote

While running at Newhaven this morning, I was watching gulls engaged in bullying a flock of ducks that were feeding in the area. The gulls circled over the ducks then each would belly-flop on top of a duck. the duck would dive and surface a short distance away, whereupon the gull would repeat the dose.

As far as I could determine, the gulls were only attacking ducks that were moving closer in to the shore. The larger part of the flock were bobbing about uninterrupted further offshore.

What was going on? Were the gulls just bullying the smaller birds because they could? Seems unlikely - even for gulls! Or were the gulls trying to keep the ducks away from the bread-throwing zone along the Newhaven shore and/or any floating tit-bits from the Loch Fyne and pizza restaurants naerby? That seemed a better explanation - except that the gulls weren't feeding, they were just giving the ducks a doing.
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Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 81
Location: Auld Reekie

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. we were walking along the Water of Leith last Sunday when we spotted 4 male mallards and 3 females. Two of the males were ganging up on one of the females and then it was one to one combat wherein he was trying to hold her head under water.

Luckily it didn't last very long, but it looks like it's bullying season.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update to my own post: Having had a chat with my next-door ornithological expert neighbour (aged 94), he affirms that this is typical duck mating behaviour! Glad I'm not a duck.

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Jack Aubrey
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Location: Camptoun, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. Un-paired mallard "courting" behaviour is basically a variant spelling of "gang rape". Not a nice species. But even so, it is a perhaps a small victory for the ducks (they weren't mallards after all) to take over this thread from those villanous gulls! Wink
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