Friday, 3 August 2018

This Picture Has Been Doing The Rounds,

in the past few days,

and is so cute I thought I would find out a little more about the background to it, the picture was taken by photographer Brent Cizek said he "couldn't have asked for a better photo opportunity" than a lone mama duck on a Minnesota lake with more than 70 ducklings trailing behind her, the duck in question is a common merganser, (Mergus merganser), which lays up to a dozen eggs at a time and often spreads them out in other birds' nests to increase the offsprings' chances of survival, according to the National Audubon Society, but that fact alone doesn't explain the photos, as 76 eggs is still too many for one female duck to incubate, a local wildlife manager said the photos most likely depict a "creche" — a sort of duckling daycare, in which an older, more experienced mother duck will take care of the other females' babies,

 Cizek first spotted the ducks on June 27 and said he counted one hen and at least 56 ducklings,when he went back a few weeks later, she had picked about two dozen more ducklings, bringing the total to approximately 76, "It's not uncommon to see between 20 and 30 ducklings trailing behind a single female duck — but more than 70 is "an extraordinary sighting," Yale ornithologist Richard O. Prum told the Times, but the ducklings, experts say, can't possibly all be hers,

but this particular creche is exceptionally large, David Rave of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told the Times, "I've seen creches up to 35 and 50 often, but 70 — that would be a very big creche." Cizek said he didn't expect to snap any photos when we went out on his boat on June 26, it was windy, the waters were choppy and he only brought one lens, when he came across the mother duck and her crèche, he said he frantically snapped dozens of pictures and prayed that at least one would turn out clear, "Sure enough, one photo of the very many actually turned out halfway decent, and here we are," he said,

 He's since been out on the lake several times to keep an eye on the ducklings and take more photos and videos to share online, "There's quite a lot of people following along to kind of see their progress and how they're doing," he said. "It's been pretty wonderful." and I bet it is, imagine what the lake will look like in a few years time if they all breed!

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