Posted by: atowhee | March 14, 2017


Ducks that winter along the Pacific Coast often come from northern habitats where the warm months are few and the breeding season brief.  Thus the later winter and early spring–before departure–is used for competition courtship so the mated pairs can migrate together.  When they land in breeding territory they are ready to start the family thing right away.  There is no time to waste.  This summer’s babies have to ready to do their own first migration by September or October.

At Ediz Hook in Port Angeles we watched ducks courting ducks paired, males competing.  Here is a quartet of Bufflehead where the males were still chasing one another:buffourbuffour2

The same type of behavior could be seen in the Long-tailed and Harlequin Ducks as well.

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