December 17, 2014
We can see in this video that some aggressive looking chasing is going on between the mallards behind the Cornell Feeders. During nonbreeding season, both males and females engage in threatening, pecking, and brief chasing, on land or water, in feeding flocks, and in disputes over favored resting sites. Overt aggression by males is frequently associated with pair formation and mate defense in wintering flocks and territory defense early in breeding season. On both water and land, the male gives an open-bill threat, rushes at the opponent with head held low, chases by running, and pecks or bites the opponent. Fighting involves breast-to-breast pushing, opponents’ bills pointing down in front; frequently resulting in denuded patches on the males’ breasts during pairing disputes in winter. At high intensities, blows are also struck with wings, and circular fighting may occur, as we can see in this clip. On territory boundaries, evenly matched males rush along flapping over water, side by side.