The secrets to successful dating, from North America’s drakes
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Waterfowl, Wildlife

The secrets to successful dating, from North America’s drakes

Printable infographics featuring the strange courtship displays of North American ducks

April 24, 2020
© DUC

Download, print, view and share DUC’s Secrets to successful dating, from North America’s drakes infographic—available in jpeg and pdf files below.

Read our Secrets to successful dating, from North America’s drakes

  • Common goldeneye: Snap your head back and point your bill at the sky—declaring your love for all the world to hear with your shrill cries. Then splash water high in the air with your feet, in celebration of your heaven-sent hen.
  • Bufflehead: Show her you’re more than a “butterball” with an impressive athletic display. First, a few aerial passes. Then, ski up to her across the water. Finally, bob your head with vigour. And if competing drakes ski in, charge at them underwater and smack them with your wings.
  • Harlequin duck: Fellas—let her know you’re not looking for a fly-by-night affair. Harlequin is ready to settle down, long-term. When you find “the one,” you’ll both be scooting across the water to chase away other ducks.
  • Wood duck: Glide past her as you stick your wings and butt in the air. Close the deal with a little head-tilting. Sometimes that’s all you need when you look this good.
  • Ruddy duck: Fight the urge to be shy, guys. Express your feelings with some elaborate bubble-making, for all the hens in sight. Use your bill to beat them out of your neck—then close your display with a confident belch.
  • Redhead: Meow at her. ‘Nuff said.
  • Northern pintail: Don’t be like woody—play it cool. Try preening, somewhere she can see you…just enough to let her see that green speculum feather bling. If she’s not looking, give a little whistle and chin-tuck. If that still doesn’t get her motor clucking, you might be too subtle. Dial it up a tick by touching your head to your butt or chasing her around while she’s flying.
  • Hooded merganser: The trick is to get noticed without coming on too strong (looking at you, common goldeneye). Raise your crest and shake your head until you have her attention, then bump your back with the backside of your head. Finally, croak like a frog to let her know you’re down.

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