Monday, December 2, 2013

Mallard pair scavenging dead salmon

I walked around Erindale and Riverwood parks in Mississauga for a few hours today, finding a few notable birds for winter (Swamp and White-throated Sparrow, 5 Winter Wren, 2 Great Blue Heron). At one point as I walked along the riverside, I noticed a pair of Mallards showing some serious interest in a salmon carcass (I believe it's a Chinook Salmon, but a number of other salmon and trout are present in the river). Check out the video I took of this bizarre behavior:

Scavenging dead salmon seems to be pretty regular on the Pacific Coast of North America (e.g. here, which is the classic location for major salmon runs, but I haven't found any references to this behavior elsewhere.

For another fun story about mallards, check out this article.


  1. I have seen Mallards doing this annually in the 80s and 90s on the Credit River

    1. Thanks, that doesn't really surprise me. I'm sure the reason this behavior seems largely recognized away from the Pacific is the relative lack of prominence of salmon runs.

  2. Great video. Thank you so much for sharing. Greetings from Montreal.