Now that Iâ€™ve got your attention…
Walking on the path alongside Cooksville Creek where it flows into Lake Ontario, I spotted 2 ducks. It looked like a male and female mating, with the male on top, his tail feathers furiously pumping, splashing. A feathery shag, I thought.
Then I noticed the male on top was being very hostile. He kept pecking the otherâ€™s head and pushing their head underwater. Looked like rowdy sex, or a rough duck fuck. There was another guy on the shore, watching with binoculars. I was feeling embarrassed for them.
After watching further, I realized that the one on the bottom was also a male and that this was a fight, and the top was winning and trying to drown the bottom. There was a lot of splashing and quacking, with the performance moving out into the open lake, when a 3rd male showed up. But other than a few pecks and pushes, and a lot of quacking, he was mostly just watching. He was a bystander.
Finally, the aggressive top succeeded in drowning the other, who just sank. The victor swam around a few circles just to make sure of the otherâ€™s death, then reared up out of the water, flapped his wings, and let out one huge quack.
Then he swam back towards the shore, looking straight into my eye â€“ proud as punch, like he was going to take me on next!
I always thought that ducks were very gentle and timid. On my walks along the shore, I often hear the soft, murmurous quacking here and there, usually between a male and female pair. Maybe theyâ€™re just having a quiet, domestic conversation. Today I was surprised to see this violent display and I wondered if it was ideological, religious or political division that brought about this brutality.
I guess ducks are just like humans.
The photos below are mostly from my 52frames project, with another few just thrown in. The challenges are in brackets after each caption.
[Click on any photo for the slideshow. Please leave comments at the bottom of the page]