The challenge of watching ducks in flight is keeping up with the action. Dabbling ducks such as mallards, shovelers, blue-winged teal or these pintails take off vertically. Once airborne they often fly as a group, sticking together since there is safety in numbers. They will rapidly gain altitude if departing on a long flight, but if it is a short trip across the marsh, they will likely stay low and quickly drop out of sight behind emergent vegetation.
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