Moms Extraordinaire

This gallery contains 4 photos. Perhaps no bird symbolizes maternal devotion to offspring more than the common Wild Duck (Mallard). These mothers singlehandedly rear and fledge anywhere from 8-12 ducklings from mid-March through to June in the Northern Hemisphere. Occasionally, they also deliver a cuter-than-cute moment when they bond with their offspring, marching them from marsh for naptime to water for their daily swim (it may interest you to know that ducklings aren’t born naturally buoyant). Photographed on April 21 at the Centennial Beach pond in Boundary Bay Regional Park.

WHSIM-Mallard-Mom-with-Baby-on-Her-Back.jpg
A mother of 9 with her favorite child. Just had to capture the moment. 🙂

f/8, 1/400, 500mm, ISO 200

And while we were observing one flock of babies, another flock of Mallard babies was feeding with their mom … quite literally, right under my nose! Photographed on April 24 at the Centennial Beach pond in Boundary Bay Regional Park.

Mallard Mom with Duckling(s)

Mallard Mom with Duckling(s)I had to back up to get these two shots — yes, they were that close!
f/8, 1/800, 164mm, ISO 1600

Unlike Canada Goose parents, who can be very aggressive (hissing and honking) towards humans and other birds when walking young from pond to pond, Mallard moms seem quite willing to let their offspring approach complete strangers for seed. Speaking as someone who has been approached by these adorable little beggars (who feed on their own the moment they’ve hatched) on more than a few occasions, I can certainly attest to that behavior. 🙂 Photographed on April 24 at the Boundary Bay Regional Park pumphouse.

WHSIM-Mother-Mallard-with-Ten-Ducklings.jpg
This extraordinary mother of 10 keeps her brood together effortlessly!

f/8, 1/800, 403mm, ISO 1250

Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂

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25 thoughts on “Moms Extraordinaire

  1. So cute. I live in Switzerland near a river and one day we saw a mother carrying all of her baby ducklings on her back, swimming down the river. Was something I’ll never forget. I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to have a look? Have a good day, Sam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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