What exactly are the above, and what do they all have in common? Perhaps the images below will provide some clues ...
|Drake Eurasian Teal in display mode - perhaps undertaking the so-called Water-flick manoeuvre?|
|Males centre many (but not all) of their elaborate actions around a single female.|
|Birds seem relatively settled when not actually displaying, and the males show no aggression to each other.|
|Bum rap: the middle male's raised undertail seems aimed at the following drake, rather than any nearby female.|
In all honesty, observing them in life - as I hope these few images indicate - is a far more entertaining experience than reading about them in BWP. After a while, through a repeated sequence of pseudo-foreplay on the part of the drakes, it became possible to guess the moment when one would compress his body and raise his tail to flash black and yellow, a process lasting only a second or so. What I haven't yet figured out is the heirarchy of the displaying males in this process, and the importance of the closeness and position of the female while their displays take place - are they really showing off to her benefit, or is it a bit of rival posturing? Something to figure out on the next visit.
|Isn't this posture great? It seems to be the most-repeated display, and again when males are in close proximity.|