In my understanding, EtherChannel by its definition works by hashing the address fields of transmtted frames (optionally of packets and even segments) to produce a single number that indicates the egress port to send the frame. The actual load of this port is not taken into account. This means even if a port in EtherChannel is saturated, the EtherChannel will not move the traffic to another port. As a result, the excess traffic will be buffered and possibly dropped.
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My understanding is the same as Peter's, which is also why choice of hashing algorithm can be crucial for optimal Etherchannel load balancing.
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