How to the Get the Girl, or Not
The Red Breasted Mergansers showing off on Lake Ontario at Arkendo Park in Mississauga a few days ago seem to have an interesting courtship theory. The first part is to chase any other male away. Then the girls have to be lining up to meet you, right? Maybe? Can someone say yes?!
Anyway, as I said, the first step is to try to get the other male to fly away. You do that by run-swimming across the surface of the water like a maniac making lots of waves and spray. If he won’t budge, try to drown him by sort of ploughing over top of him.
You may want to bite a bit at him at the same time.
(It doesn’t seem to occur to them that mergansers are DIVING ducks and are very hard to drown by pushing them slightly underwater, even in Lake Ontario.)
Next, if that doesn’t work, try to show him who is the mightier duck by putting on your coolest display. First, do that neck stretching straight up thing. After all, chicks dig the tall, green, white and rusty red guys.
What?! He’s doing it too?
Quickly move on to your chest bob.
Or transition right into the winner of the competition never-fail “no one can beat this” neck straight, chest bobbed, beak agape as you call out your love’s name, tail flared, butt in the air chiller killer move.
Alas, the other male just copies you and calls her name, too!
Ah well, time to try the ramming speed thing again.
And as for the girlfriends. Sheesh? Couldn’t they even stop fishing for five seconds to watch all this?! Talk about an unappreciative audience. One of them even fell asleep.