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Kees Moeliker made one of these observations while he was sitting in his office at the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, when he heard the distinctive thud of a bird hitting the glass facade of the building. Upon inspection, he discovered a drake mallard lying dead about two meters from the building. Next to the downed bird there was a second drake mallard standing close by. As he observed the odd couple, the living drake picked at the corpse of the dead one for a few minutes and then, without provocation, it mounted the corpse and began copulating with it. The act of necrophilia lasted for about 75 minutes, in which time, according to Moeliker, the living drake took two short breaks before resuming with copulating behavior. Moeliker surmised that at the time of the collision with the window the two mallards were engaged in a common motif in duck behavior which is called rape flight. "When one died the other one just went for it and didn't get any negative feedback -- well, didn't get any feedback," according to Moeliker.
Apparently (this part was not observed), two mallards were pursuing each other, or one mallard was pursuing another mallard. One flew straight into a window, dying instantly. The other mallard proceeded to have sex with the corpse of the dead mallard for 75 minutes until it was shooed away so that the corpse could be recovered. Inspection of the dead mallard revealed that it was male, thus making this the first observed case of homosexual necrophilia in mallards.
His findings have provoked a lot of interest - especially in Britain for some reason - but no other recorded cases of duck necrophilia. However, Mr Moeliker was informed of an American case involving a squirrel and a dead partner, although in this case it is not known whether the necrophilia observed was homosexual or not as the victim had been run over by a truck shortly before the incident.