intertidal mallards


CarolC7529@...
 

On 5/2 I observed a female mallard and 9 small, completely downy ducklings
feeding on intertidal algae at low tide near Corallina Cove at Montana de
Oro. I have reports that a hen mallard has been observed in that general
area several times over the past few weeks. I couldn't find anything in the
literature that I have at home about mallards breeding in rocky intertidal
situations and I've never heard of it. I suppose that she could have nested
north of there near Islay Creek and moved south along the coast with her
brood (which seems like it would be a challenge getting those small ducklings
around the breaking surf at the point southwest of Spooners Cove), but based
on reports I've heard of the female hanging around the intertidal area near
Corallina Cove it seems possible that she nested near there in a protected
rocky area at the base of the cliffs above the high tide influence. Has
anybody seen, heard or read about this type of behavior with mallards?

John Roser
CarolC7529@aol.com


Tom Edell
 

I found John's sighting to be of interest. I have never seen or heard of
precocial mallards along the exposed coast of SLOCo. It is not unusual for
mallards to nest adjacent to saltwater as they regularly do around the Morro
Bay estuary. Back when I grew abalone on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay, I
used to see precocial young in the harbor area in late spring and summer.
One year I found a nest hidden behind some fennel along a fence. Mallards
typically nest in vegetation and I would guess such was the case in Montana
de Oro SP. However, they do seem to be willing to use whatever is available.
I guess that has helped them adapt to breeding in local parks with ponds.

Regards,

Tom Edell

In a message dated 05/02/2000 6:03:01 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
CarolC7529@aol.com writes:

<< On 5/2 I observed a female mallard and 9 small, completely downy ducklings
feeding on intertidal algae at low tide near Corallina Cove at Montana de
Oro. I have reports that a hen mallard has been observed in that general
area several times over the past few weeks. I couldn't find anything in the
literature that I have at home about mallards breeding in rocky intertidal
situations and I've never heard of it. I suppose that she could have nested
north of there near Islay Creek and moved south along the coast with her
brood (which seems like it would be a challenge getting those small
ducklings
around the breaking surf at the point southwest of Spooners Cove), but based
on reports I've heard of the female hanging around the intertidal area near
Corallina Cove it seems possible that she nested near there in a protected
rocky area at the base of the cliffs above the high tide influence. Has
anybody seen, heard or read about this type of behavior with mallards? >>