I'm trying to explain why birds (specifically wildfowl) are gregarious during the winter and solitary during the summer.

I think that in winter, birds are gregarious to reduce the risk of predation and to share foraging information. But gregariousness also brings with it competition, and because birds have offspring to feed in the summer, they trade-off increased predation/loss of information with reduced competition.

Does this sound correct?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ what kind of effort did you put in answering yourself? have you asked google, e.g. "what are benefits of solitary in animals?" $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 8:03
  • $\begingroup$ You should add more information about your study species (living environments, migration, breeding behaviour etc). $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ Question edited (hopefully improved) $\endgroup$
    – luciano
    Apr 30, 2015 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ sorry,. OP, it is still not good. Proper way to ask that might be something like that: "I wonder what is difference between X and Y. My hypothesis is Z, based on references A,B,C, and wild speculation D. Are there other theories?" Try to put it using as short sentences as possible and you will find help. This is not site for seeking assistance in editing writings $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2015 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ Another shot... $\endgroup$
    – luciano
    Apr 30, 2015 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


I will assume that you are talking about Mallards, although other wildfowl are likely to exhibit similar behaviors.

Mallards aren't actually solitary during the summer, instead they form breeding pairs. They form groups (sords) in the winter to migrate and for protection while moulting.

https://sta.uwi.edu/fst/lifesciences/documents/Anas_platyrhynchos.pdf http://thefarmatwalnutcreek.com/Ducks_Swans_Mallard-Duck.html


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