SBCC ZOOL 140 - Observation Mallards (5 pages)

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Observation Mallards



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Observation Mallards

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Pages:
5
School:
Santa Barbara City College
Course:
Zool 140 - Animal Behavior
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Ju 1 Kris Burnell Zoology140 Observing Mallards I observed a Mallard Anas platyrhynchos on May 1 3 2015 at Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens located between Garden St and Santa Barbara St in Santa Barbara CA There were 20 Mallards in the little lake with other kinds of anatine Male mallard have yellow beak and bright bluish green color of neck There is a white thin trim between neck and body The tail feather is bright white but middle tail feather is black and curled up It has orange color of webbed feet too On the other hands female mallard s body is covered with brown feather and have dark brown pattern on it Its beak is yellow but darker than male s Generally females have smaller body build than male Mallards use separate habitats for roosting and foraging at least in winter In general terms the daily home range is thought to primarily depend on the spatial distribution of food resources but it may also be affected by predation and hunting pressure disturbance and inter and intraspecific population densities According to National geographic reports the mallard is thought to be the most abundant and wide ranging duck on Earth Mallards prefer calm shallow sanctuaries but can be found in almost any body of freshwater across Asia Europe and North America They re also found in saltwater and brackish water and are commonly found in wetlands Mallard groups can often be seen head dipping or completely upending in the water They rarely dive though spending their time near the surface and dabbling for invertebrates fish amphibians and a variety of plants They also graze on land feeding on grains and plants May 1 2015 Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens 11 00 am Watching a group of mallards There were 20 of female and male mallards Over half of them were males and Ju 2 they seemed more colorful and fancier than females They were swimming in the warm sunlight and were repeating action that pluming their feathers with beak Generally they spent time with scraping their tail inside feathers and below body as soaking their beak into the lake s water I approached closer to watch their pluming action I found that they hold water in their beak then get their body wet over pecking At the same time they were doing fluttering their tail fast from side to side 11 15 Three of mallards approached speedy to the mallard that was pluming his body he flies about 30 ft flapping his wings and sat by the brook The wing shaped like V and they flap their wings up fast In the lake they were swimming and one of Mallards immersed its head in the water and took out repeatedly about five times He started immersing his head in the water 11 20 Still pluming their feathers May 2 2015 Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens 3 30pm Observing same mallards but I walked into the middle of lake over the short bridge I could see another group of five male mallards that were swimming and one female In this group I heard diverse sounds of duck quack from males Each of mallards showed inside their beak opening their Ju 3 mouth and made sound Among them female mallard made bigger sounds then males Meanwhile males went around as a group 3 40 Two male mallards were doing interesting behavior They closed each other and faced beak to beak then wagging their head back and forth After that they swum turning round and round 3 50 There was a mallard that has pretty big body build He was just wandering the lake Then it suddenly speeded up toward the rock inside the lake and kicked the mallard that was sitting on the rock He instantly took that seat Overall the time they kept pecking and pluming their feather and shaking their tails May 3 2015 Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens 2 30pm There was another pair of mallard One of male mallards was chasing around another male that had bigger body with quacking As bigger one is sitting on a rock near the lakeside he turned back At land where in the center of lake two males and one female mallard were sitting and batting their eyelids under the shade from a tree 2 45 Another side of lake I saw a pair of female and male mallards They both were not moving a lot near the lakeside for a few minutes but once female moved male moved together right behind her When she went into quite middle of the lake male passed her ahead and ejected other mallards to secure enough space for her 3 00 Four of Mallards came out from the lake and walked around the lakeside and walking for finding foods on the grass The majority of mallards were still pecking and pluming their feathers for most of my observation Ju 4 Most every time I encountered mallards they reacted similar way individually As they were pecking at their tail chest and all their body they pluck feathers from their chest They kept repeating that motion It is an innate behavior and performed as Fixed Action Pattern FAP because all members of a class perform it Once they started always went to completion Mallards showed me actions that soaking their head deep into water to catch foods in shallow water or flying low in the air and land to pick up and eat food from grass in a group It explains mallard is Omnivore because they eat both microorganism from the lake and plants from the ground that covered grass They were choosing actual food items using Active search strategy so they searched prey in groups I also could see reproductive behaviors that making quack sounds as males surrounded one female facing beaks each other and shaking their heads and male was following certain female to protect her Making sounds toward one female could be explained as an Intrasexual Selection which competes among members of the same sex for access to mates so they did Pre mating Competition to get to a female and be allowed to mate Ju 5 References McNeil R Drapeau P Gosscustard JD 1992 The Occurrence and Adaptive Significance of Nocturnal Habits in Waterfowl Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 67 381 419 Tamisier A Dehorter O 1999 Camargue Canards et foulques Centre Ornithologique du Gard Nime France Guillemain M Fritz H Duncan P 2002 The importance of protected areas as nocturnal feeding grounds for dabbling ducks wintering in western France Biological Conservation 103 183 198 Kozulin A 1995 Ecology of Mallards Anas platyrhynchos wintering in low temperatures conditions in Belarus Acta Ornithologica 30 125 134 Schoener TW 1983 Simple Models of Optimal Feeding Territory Size a Reconciliation American Naturalist 121 608 629 Legagneux P Blaize C Latraube F Gautier J


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