Bottoms Up!

Mallards are dabblers, not divers. Other ducks, such as Ruddy Ducks, Bufflehead, Scaup, and Goldeneye, can easily submerge their whole body. Mallards can’t do that. They’re too buoyant. The best they can do is to submerge the front half, with the rear half up in the air. They have to paddle furiously to keep their heads underwater. That’s what these Mallards demonstrated. This inability limits them to feeding in shallow waters. Luckily, there’s no shortage of shallow waters in the North Basin, except at very high tides. Here, with a middling tide, dabbling works just fine.

Male, center, dabbles while female holds seaweed she gathered on her effort

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