MUSCOVY DUCKS: THE MATING GAME…
This is going to be a bit awkward for me. And for you. We are all going to have to be very adult about this. If you are sensitive about discussing… intimacies, then look away now. Because we are going to have to confront the facts with courage and fortitude. Ducks have sex. Oh, you didn’t quite catch that? They have Sex. SEX. SEX. Let’s call it something less.. well, I think mating is the correct word, although given the fact that the female suffers total submersion during the proceedings, ‘ducking’ would not be wholly out of place…
On Abaco, there are a number of muscovy ducks, all tame ones such as Perry Maillis’s at Gilpin Point shown in the Header image. They are not strictly an ‘official’ bird species of Abaco, but instead come into the classification “exotics”, in other words avian ‘also-rans’. This category also includes mallards, macaws and (for now) PEAFOWL – though I would fight to near-death to have these ranked as an established breeding introduced species (cf bobwhites), i.e. ‘proper’ Abaco birds. Many-time descendants of a few original tame birds, the population now is entirely feral and self-sustaining.
Muscovy ducks Cairina moschata turn out to be very interesting in the area of ‘Spring relationships’ (mallards and other ducks too, for that matter). A quick piece of research about them unearthed one unbeatable nugget of anatidaean anatomy: male muscovy ducks have spiralled penises which can become erect to 20 cm in one third of a second… Females have vaginas that spiral in the opposite direction to try to limit forced copulation by males, with ‘blind pouches’ if the female is unreceptive to advances…
So there you have it. Impressively rapid reactions from the male. And an equally clever response from the female. Something like this:
Male & Female Duck Corkscrews
NERVOUS DISPOSITION? STOP READING RIGHT NOW!
I once photographed the muscovy duck mating sequence (not on Abaco). Here are some images from the procedure. Until I looked at the images on my computer, I didn’t realise I had ‘caught’ (photo #2) the pink corkscrew in the process of inflation. So to speak. And with apologies for indelicacy.
SPRINGTIME. I THINK IT’S TIME TO FIND MYSELF… A LADY FRIEND
OH MY GOODNESS. THAT “1/3 OF A SECOND THING” IS STARTING TO HAPPEN…
QUICK! AHA! SHE LOOKS NICE. LET’S SEE HOW THINGS DEVELOP.
HEY! WHERE ON EARTH HAS SHE GOT TO?
HOLD ON AGAIN…. JUST A…. MOMENT…
BLEURGHHHHHHH… ME TOO… I THINK?
AH YES, ALL OK NOW. PLEASURE TO MEET YOU
Credits: Header, Gelinde Taurer; Ianare Sevi; all other photos RH; infographic, scientist.com
Love this series!
Cheers Cindy… the post obviously needed to be handled with extreme delicacy. I don’t want to be blacklisted by WordPress!! RH
I have also seen my dominant white chinese male goose get on top of a mating pair of muskovey ducks, to show his dominance. He grabbed the mating male muscovery by the neck with his beak and grabbed his shoulders with this web feet. The goose hates the muskoveys and is always terrorizing them. ..the female on bottom of two big birds was having a bad time and spitting up, so i broke the threesome up. The duck walked away and his still erect penis was dragging the ground.u Coitus interuptus!
It all sounds incredibly risqué, Roselyn. I’m sure I’ve seen a film on TV something like that, only with humans… Please tell me you video’d the whole event for posterity – potentially a viral spiral on the internet! RH
It was one of those unfortunate times when I did not have my camera. Since then I cannot eat McDonald’s curly fries!
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