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View Diary: Dawn Chorus: Bird Mating Systems (94 comments)

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  •  I may need to read up more on ducks (8+ / 0-)

    I may have been making assumptions based on my own observations that male ducks don't hang around much after mating.  As is very common the terms are dividing continua into discrete categories.  Geese are known for very long pair bonds.  Ducks may form transient bonds but do the males remain to help care for the young at all?

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:51:18 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Common Loons said to arrive separately to the nest (7+ / 0-)

      grounds, but that doesn't say the weren't a pair beforehand.

      This may be a nesting pair here on HumBay then, I saw them this am preening and fishing along the waterfront...and of course as soon as they came close enough, < 25',  my 'card is full'.

      Grrrr...and of course it was the best, where he came up 15' away and swam submerged with just head and a bit of back showing...and last time he/LoonDad did that- drifted over to me, I was ready for The Picture some dude came close up on me to save me eternal soul, missed that opportunity too. Usually I'm nice to loonies and panhandlers, I threatened him with airborn re-baptism. and bad werds....and on he prattled...

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:27:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conventional wisdom is that loons (5+ / 0-)

        are paired for 5 years or so, with the male going to the nesting site first. They prepare the nest together, and share incubation and chick rearing. Other sources say Until recently it was thought, and describe a less stable kind of relationship, with challenges to a nesting pair, fights and fatalities. Whichever, loons sound more monogamous than ducks, in terms of how many activities they share. More like geese.

        Really nice photo, one in breeding plumage the other not.

    •  Not our ducks (I read about species in (5+ / 0-)

      the Southern Hemisphere that do). Generally they follow the female to the nesting territory and defend it until incubation is underway. Depending on how many eggs get laid, that many days at least. Total, a few months. Whereas geese stick around for incubation and brood rearing as well. It does seem like a short window of togetherness, but that's described as monogamous, if seasonal. Raises the question what we mean by monogamy. Some ducks rejoin their mates for the following year, if they are a type that goes back to the same nesting site.

      This suggests that female geese need more help rearing chicks than ducks do.

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