Ducks are breeding residents of the cold mountain streams of the Lauca
area and always a treat to watch. Once
again we refer to AW Johnson's excellent "Birds of Chile", for
the most interesting natural history observations. Johnson relates the account of
extraordinarily dedicated photographer George Moffet, who set up camp
and devoted six weeks to the study of Torrent Ducks in Argentina.
After watching a nest for weeks, and wondering how the chicks would
descend from the steep rock bank, Moffett observed the frenzied female
duck and wrote "As she swam, she
called vigorously and continuously to the two ducklings standing on the
ledge 60' above her.........the first one out of the nest made the first
leap into the torrent..........the duckling tumbled off the edge and
tumbling as it fell, bounced off a projection of the cliff, and then
onto bare jagged rocks and stony debris at the base............without a
moment's pause it went into the water and swam around easily in the eddy
which revolved in the slow whirlpool behind the boulder....."