I’ve seen nervous mallards diving like this when a red-tailed hawk was nearby. I don’t know if the hawk (very possibly a juvenile) had actually tried to catch a duck before I arrived, or had just flown over and scared them.
> On Jan 13, 2020, at 11:08 PM, 'bill butler' via Birders <birders...> wrote:
> Dabbling ducks will dive to evade aerial predators such as Bald Eagles. Perhaps the mallards are having drills. I've also occasionally witness our domestic ducks diving for 4-5 seconds and its always appeared a case of duck exuberance. Judging from circumstances and their demeanor, the ducks were having fun. Rather like otters sliding down a river bank.
> Bill Butler
> On Friday, January 10, 2020, 7:03:53 PM UTC, 'P. swanson' via Birders <birders...> wrote:
> Over the last several weeks, I have been seeing mallards diving completely underwater alongside buffleheads. Is this normal? I thought they were strictly dabbling ducks. They are staying totally submerged for about 5 or so seconds.