This past weekend, I saw dabblers diving again, this time repeatedly. I was along the Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia. Several hen Mallards repeatedly dove. My vantage point was such that I could also see them swimming beneath the surface. Their surface activity was such, that this may have been part of their "bathing" and "preening" behavior, but the time they spent under water does not rule out the possibility that they were also feeding.
|Drake Mallard watches as a hen dives beneath the surface.|
|Hen Mallard as she begins her dive.|
|Resurfacing, she shakes the water off her duck's back.|
Wood Ducks along the Wissahickon seem to have moved on, except for the lone male who has not completed his molt. When he stretched his wings, flight feathers on one wing appear to be missing, probably explaining his bachelorhood.