Would a bonded male leave his hen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lilki, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My bonded 8 month old mallards took off in flight the other day and only the female came back. We've looked everywhere for him. . We have lots of trees and I think it maybe it messes them up. We've had wild ducks navigate well enough though.. I saw her come down so I know something happened during the flight.

    There is a large lake with lots of ducks about a mile or two down the road. What's the likelihood that he would leave his bonded hen? It's migration time as well, but we live in southern Ca. and ducks live here year round.

    Also, does anyone know how good their navigation is? In other words, would he know how to get home? They both flew into the neighbor's yard one time and just sat there for hours until we got them. This time, though, it's been a few days.

    I hope he's ok but I'm not too optimistic. At least the hen has a couple other ducks for company during this tough time.

    I've put up signs and the neighbors are on the lookout but we border a preserve that has miles of trees and creek. He could be anywhere. :(
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Sorry you lost him :hugs

    Unfortunately this is why you should clip their wings. They don't have any kind of homing response and he might have landed somewhere else and be unable to find his way home. Or he may have been taken by a predator; since you said it looked like the flight was disturbed he may have been attacked by an aerial predator like a hawk. They are very vulnerable once they fly off, and since you said you are surrounded by a reserve there are probably lots of predators. Fingers crossed that he makes it home but it's not too likely he'll find his own way at this point.

    I'd clip one of the female's wings so you don't lose her too.
     
  3. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I have some new information- my husband said the day it happened he saw a single duck a couple hundred feet up in the air. He didn't think it was him since the duck was so high and going straight like it was headed towards the lake. I bet it was though. We never see ducks fly over around here unless it's in March. It's unusual. So it's looking like they flew in a circle, she came home, and he continued on. Maybe I'll bring mealworms and check the lake. He'd be quite happy there.
     
  4. Bills vs Beaks

    Bills vs Beaks Overrun With Chickens

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    Hope he's there!!
     
  5. PINOAK RIDGE

    PINOAK RIDGE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to read about your situation. Here is some information that may help.

    Domestic mallards aren't monogamous, as wild duck species tend to be. Wild ducks begin pair bonding in early winter and the females tend to return to where they were hatched and raised. Males tend to roam far and wide and do not usually return to their home area. Think of it as mother natures way to limit the chances of inbreeding.

    Generally speaking, wild waterfowl have excellent navigation skills. When new owners purchase mallards we advise them to keep them penned for a week - two weeks or trim one wing to keep them from flying back home. :)

    Maybe your male was following some natural instinct to roam and locate a mate from a different area. You didn't state if this "bonded pair" were hatchlings, purchased as babies and raised as siblings or if they are unrelated young adults that have recently bonded.

    Will keep fingers crossed you find him. As previously stated, you may wish to trim your female, to keep her from being able to fly away. Glad to hear she has other ducks for company.

    Hope this helps and enjoy you ducks.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Mallards do not bond for life.....They only bond for a season......Every year they have new mates....


    Cheers!
     
  7. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You bring up a good point and something I was wondering about. They are bonded hatchlings that I bought from a feed store. I had assumed they would be mates but is this likely if they are siblings? I'm really wondering if he flew off to look for a mate. There are two other females but they are too young.

    Speaking of his "mate", she is doing pretty well. She's not as upset as I thought she'd be. She's eating and hanging out with the other ducks. She's the leader and they follow her everywhere. She hasn't tried to fly since he left.

    Something strange has happened with the other two ducks, the female Welshies. They have stopped quacking. They still quack when the mallard hen gets out of sight but, before, they were constantly quacking for no apparent reason.

    I saw a park ranger driving down our street and it got me to wondering.. Who would people,call if a wild mallard (they wouldn't know he's a pet) gets stuck in their yard? I've tried calling my local animal shelter and Project Wildlife but they don't have him. Are there services that would relocate a "wild" duck?
     
  8. PINOAK RIDGE

    PINOAK RIDGE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Were your Welshies doing the head bobbing and looking down beside their shoulder when they were quacking? This is a courting behavior ducks do. Maybe since the male is gone, they no longer feel the need to try to attract his attention. ??

    I would guess someone may contact animal control, shelter, game warden or wildlife rehab if they thought they found a "wild" mallard.

    Good luck. Hope he is safe and just sowing his "wild" oats. :)
     
  9. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No they weren't doing the head bobbing move. My female mallard does that all the time. They were quacking with their heads pretty much straight up. It was random. I'm actually quite glad they quit doing it. They are much louder than the mallard.

    Everyone is doing well. The mallard is clearly the leader and the other two follows her around everywhere. Sometimes she flies over to her pen or the pool and, when she sees they aren't behind her, she'll fly back to where they are.

    I'm glad they are all ok but I'm still bummed about the male. The more I think about it the more I think he flew off to look for a mate. The welshes aren't old enough to breed and the other mallard was hatched with him.

    I've been in contact with both animal control and project wildlife, so if someone turns him in I'll know. Thanks for your reply!
     

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