Thursday, January 19, 2017
Eider duck courtship
I watched this little group of courting eider ducks at North Shields Fish Quay last week.
At this time of year the drakes are dressed in their finest courting plumage. Their feathers are so smooth that the birds look almost as if they are made of ceramic.
Their main ploy for attracting the admiration of the females is to throw their head back, inflate that pink chest and emit the most delightful, comical cooing call, which sounds as though they are perpetually surprised. You can hear by clicking here.
Occasionally they flick water into the air with their beaks.
The females aren't always impressed and if the drakes get too familiar their respond by giving them a little nip with their beaks.