A pair of Mandarin ducks have moved into Buckfastleigh over the last couple of months.
I’ve seen this pair several times at the bottom of town drifting along the little river Mardle.
The female appears to be disabled. She doesn’t seem to be able to hold her head properly upright. At the back of her neck is a ruffled ridge of raised feathers.
I’m wondering whether the male (her male) damaged her neck in some way during mating.
Male ducks (of most types) have a tendency to be violently aggressive towards females when coupling.
The male (her male) is very proprietorial. He’s never more than a few (webbed) feet away from her. He can’t bear to let her out of his sight.
Perhaps he’s her ‘carer’.
But more probably, he’s her warder cum abuser cum jailer cum jealously possessive patriarchal ‘boss’.
Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet