Taking a leaf out of John Bowlby’s attachment theory, originating in the study of sheep, I have spent time observing Mallards and Moorhens.
Unlike Swans, I don’t think they are monogamus, however both the beautifully coloured male Mallard and the black male moorhen seem faithful, caring and protective partners.
Human couple behaviour, if observed by visitors from another planet, might sometimes not appear to be so ordered, loyal and nurturing.
Some of the following duck and bird traits could be helpful to follow once in an ongoing human partnership.
Decide who to pair up with and to breed with if this is the couple’s choice.
Share home building. Birds nest with great strength, enterprise and building skills, sharing the furnishing and positioning of a safe nest. The position is important so it is safe from predators. For humans the positioning is important for schools, hospitals, jobs, trains and neighbours and other reasons the couple feels important.
Once the eggs are laid or the human couple embark on a pregnancy, health and safety are paramount. The male duck or bird spends all his waking hours feeding himself and his partner with tasty titbits. Often ducking down and finding goodies below the surface. The human expectant father is wise to select and encourage a good diet and suitable exercise for the future mother and himself.
Once born in all three species, there is much activity and nurture, working long hours to provide for their new addition or additions. The most common human remark following birth is: ‘I am so tired,’ yet in the bird and duck world the growth and preparation for their offsprings’ life is so fast it seems little or no sleep is taken.
If the visitor from outside our world were to comment, they might say the behaviour of human and other species seems to be very alike and despite looks, colours, shapes, sizes, skin or feathers each could learn from the other about harmony, sharing, containment and peace.
This hypothesis can be applied to other species outside the three described.