Ducks seem to love to copy each other, or follow each other. I suppose they “think” what’s good for one of their kind must be good for them as well. The synchronous swimming maneuvers by a couple of mallard drakes was entertaining to watch when I was out taking photos of the beaver damage the other day at the Sucker Lake outlet.
There were surprisingly few ducks on this creek outlet of Sucker Lake. Usually this area is teeming with mallards, and swans, until the ice melts on the lake.
Two mallard drakes performed their synchronous swimming act for a lone female, while a third drake looked on. He didn’t seem to want to join in. You can see the water dripping off their heads and bills after they had tipped up to feed off the bottom — as seen below.
Ducks are so buoyant they have trouble keeping just their heads submerged. They paddle the water continuously with their feet to keep their heads under.
The synchrony of these feeding efforts was surprising. But perhaps dredging by more than one bill liberates more food from the bottom for both of them.
Eventually that third drake joined in the line leading the female around the creek. It’s still too cold to think about pairing up for the nesting season, but it doesn’t hurt to strut a little either.