Waterfowl, like many other animals, create pair bonds with those of the opposite sex so that they can have offspring, but do ducks mate for life? The mating habits of waterfowl are extremely diverse. While some animals remain mated for life, others spend considerable time and energy each year building new pair connections. Let’s dive in and look at more information about if ducks mate for life and what that means for them.
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Do Ducks Mate for Life?Ducks, in contrast to geese, mate with multiple partners during their lives. These couples only mate during the same season each year. So basically, ducks don’t necessarily mate for life but they do form seasonal bonds. There are a few different categories for duck breeding.
- Female ducks practice seasonal monogamy by choosing the same mate for one breeding season but switching partners for the next. Waterbirds have been observed engaging in polygamy.
- Mallards are said to mate for life with only one spouse. Mallards will choose a mate by being quite picky about who they choose, but they will stick with that mate long-term.
What Happens When a Duck Loses its Mate?Most of the time the females will find a drake during the mating season in order to be monogamous during the breeding season. If the drake happens to leave her then she will immediately find another mate to continue mating during this season. Sometimes the birds will end up finding the same mate every season if a strong bond is created then one or the other might venture off to find their other half. Ultimately though, ducks don’t bond for life so they don’t seem to care if their partner leaves. Read More: Why Do Ducks Quack So Much? Quacking is more than just for the fun of it. Learn why ducks quack!
Mating SeasonDuring the spring and early summer, wild ducks mate and have their offspring. This is due to:
- Extended hours of daylight,
- Warmer temperatures
- Plenty of food, including protein-rich crustaceans and vitamin-rich water plants.